The Cleveland Museum of Art Returns

The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) returned more than 900 works of art to 19 spectacularly renovated galleries on the second floor of its historic 1916 museum building on June 29. These works from the museum’s permanent collection have been in storage since 2005 when CMA closed for an expansion and renovation project that is re-imagining the museum for the community.

Works to be featured when the second floor of the historic 1916 building reopens at the end of June include world-renowned masterpieces from the museum’s collections of European art from 1600- 1800 and American art from 1700-1900, as well as the beloved Armor Court.

Visitors returning to the 1916 second floor galleries will enjoy works from the heart of the museum’s collection of Western European art as well as the formative stages in the development of American art. The newly renovated galleries are arranged around three spaces: the Armor Court, the central rotunda and the former interior garden court. The interior garden court has been transformed into a gallery for Italian painting and sculpture from 1600-1800 and the display of miniatures and other small works from 17th-century Europe.

The rotunda, cleared of display cases previously installed there, is now the central orientation spot from which to explore the building. The Armor Court, meanwhile, is virtually unchanged since its comprehensive renovation in 1998.

About Art After X

With the death of President Kennedy in 1963, America changed. As hard as it is to minimize that sentiment, the effect of Dallas was even greater. The same year saw the merging of the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, which had been central to the art scene, and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Douglas MacAgy, then the director of DMCA, not only opposed the merger, but also declined to directorship of the combined museum. The regionalist movement which had been strong for decades, was giving way to more of an interest in what was going on nationally, and internationally. Like it or not, Dallas was on the national stage.

When the Kennedy’s arrived in Fort Worth, local collectors had decorated a hotel room with internationally-renowned works. While the president and his wife learned a great deal about the ability of Texans to collect major art, there was little they could glean about the local scene in this era-defining city.

With this in mind, we have begun a project to look not back at the art scene in Dallas, but foreword from 1963. We are interviewing gallery owners, curators and others involved in the art scene then, but this will be a story told mostly through interviews with artists active in the city from that point into the 1980s.

The result will be a book with a video component.

We hope you will join us in our journey. The hashtag for the project is #artafterx and the url will point to the latest updates on this weblog.

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