Discoveries of Egyptian antiquities fueled interest in Europe and America as early as the 18th century. The splendor and romance of the Nile Valley washed over the arts and fashion of the western world encouraging expeditions and excavations. By 1910 everybody who was anybody had traveled to Egypt and American museums began collecting Egyptian art.
Students in the museum studies class of the CMA/CWRU joint program in art history and museum studies have spent the past year researching the museum’s first director, Frederic Allen Whiting. Their capstone project is a Wikipedia page devoted to Whiting and his career in the arts. An unassuming figure, he is sometimes neglected when compared to the more colorful William Milliken and Sherman Lee. But his selection as our first director speaks volumes about the trustees’ plans for the museum and its role in the community.
Today marks the end of an era as the final iteration of the Monday Table is taken down and shelved.
Built when the City of Cleveland was coming of age, the museum is a physical manifestation of the hopes and dreams of a community hungry for access to arts and culture. It was by design that the art museum and other cultural institutions were built within walking distance of each other. One hundred years later we celebrate the ongoing achievement of the museum with an exhibition of archival images that illustrate significant and unique moments in our history. The images selected for the exhibition provide a unique look at how the museum became what it is today.