A variety of membership levels are available to enrich your museum experience, from the popular Family/Dual membership at just $65, the Individual membership at $50, and Senior memberships that provide very generous discounts.
Recent Acquisition of Art by American Artists of African descent at The Cleveland Museum of Art now on view in their galleries.
Black History Month offers an opportunity to celebrate the talents and achievements of African-American artists by taking a trip to The Cleveland Museum of Art. The museum is renowned for the quality and breadth of its collection, which includes almost 45,000 objects and spans 6,000 years of achievement in the arts. Currently undergoing an ambitious, multi-phase renovation and expansion project across its campus, the museum is a significant international forum for exhibitions, scholarship, performing arts and art education. One of the top five comprehensive art museums in the nation, and the only one that is free of charge to all, the Cleveland Museum of Art is located in the dynamic University Circle neighborhood.
In November 2011, the museum acquired an outstanding American neoclassical work by the renowned 19thcentury sculptor Edmonia Lewis. In its complex and dynamic arrangement of multiple figures, Indian Combat ranks among the most ambitious of all free-standing American neoclassical sculptures. Born circa 1844 of African American and Native American (Objibwa) descent, Edmonia Lewis holds the distinction of being the first non-white American sculptor to achieve acclaim internationally. Indian Combat had been in the private collection of a Massachusetts family since the 1950s, and remained unknown to the art world until it surfaced late last year. The acquisition enhances the museum’s distinguished American art holdings and demonstrates the museum’s dedication to add works that strengthen its historic commitment to artistic excellence. It can be found in Gallery 207.
“Edmonia Lewis’s Indian Combat is a remarkable discovery. Its acquisition builds on the museum’s commitment to collect works of art that are both seminal to the careers of individual artists and also significant benchmarks in the history of art,” said C. Griffith Mann, the museum’s deputy director and chief curator.
In Gallery 225c, visitors will find To Braque for Mantelpieces, a painting by Sam Gilliam acquired in 2010. A member of the Washington Color School in the 1960s, Gilliam marked a radical shift in painting whose vigorous influence remains evident today. The Washington Color School artists painted largely abstract works, and were central to the larger color field movement. The movement began in 1965 when the "Washington Color Painters" exhibit opened at the now-defunct Washington Gallery of Modern Art and continued to flourish through the early ‘70s. Gilliam introduced eccentric elements borrowed from sculpture and explored the interplay of form and process. This painting belongs to the artist’s "D paintings" series characterized by narrow, vertical strips of canvas, beveled edges and a metal element in the form of the letter D. Inspired by a commission for the Davis Square subway station near Boston, they are hybrids of painting and decorative object.
To the left of To Braque for Mantelpieces, visitors will find a painting by Jack Whitten also acquired in 2010. Whitten, an American abstract painter, has taught and influenced a generation of artists. After meeting Martin Luther King Jr. as a student in Louisiana, Whitten participated in the civil rights movement until 1960, when he refocused on his art studies. Interested in making painting a tangible presence, he devised a method to "expand the gesture while taking my hand out of it," he said. Here the canvas was first painted white and placed parallel to the floor. Thin objects such as cotton strings and paper were thrown onto it. The artist then poured on a layer of gray paint and dragged a long metal rod, regularly notched at 1/8-inch intervals, across the surface, revealing the underlying white. The orderly linear pattern plays with the pure chance of the traces embedded beneath the gray. Whitten’s experimentation emphasized how elements such as the stretcher, brush, and paint itself are essential to experience the painted image.
A variety of membership levels are available to enrich your museum experience, from the popular Family/Dual membership at just $65, the Individual membership at $50, and Senior memberships that provide very generous discounts. Special exhibitions are always free to members. Plus, there are special discounts on classes, lectures, concerts, and movies. Stop to shop in our Museum Store, and save 15%. There are so many ways to save that a membership pays for itself!
Members of the museum can join the Friends of African and African American Art for $75. The group promotes the appreciation and collection of work created by artists of the African Diaspora. Find out more at http://goo.gl/G3UZ9 or by calling the Affiliate Groups coordinator at 216-707-2579.