John Long Severance Art Collection Photographs

Cleveland industrialist John Long Severance (1863-1936) had a profound influence on the establishment and growth of the Cleveland.  Through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Severance visitors have been enthralled with the great armor court since the museum opened its doors in 1916.  He left his personal art collection to the museum following his death. In addition to his donations of works of art he made generous donations to the museum library, ensuring its place as one of the nation's leading art historical research centers.  This collection consists of four bound books of photographs and descriptions of objects in the John Long Severance Collection.  Some descriptions include provenance information.

Digitized copies of the books may be accessed via the Internet Archive:

Summary Information

Repository: Cleveland Museum of Art Archives
Title: John Long Severance Collection
ID: 1111.005
Date: undated
Extent: 0.5 Cubic feet  [Four bound books of photographs]
Language: English

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Biographical/Historical note

Cleveland industrialist John Long Severance (1863-1936) had a profound influence on the establishment and growth of the Cleveland Museum of Art. His association began as a member of the museum advisory committee in 1914. He joined the board of trustees in 1915. It was through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Severance that visitors have been enthralled with the great armor court since the museum opened its doors in 1916. At the time, the armor collection was one of the most important public collections in America. He served on the accessions and executive committees of the board of trustees, as vice-president from 1920-1926, and as president of the board from 1926 until his death in 1936. He left his personal art collection to the museum following his death. In addition to his donations of works of art he made generous donations to the museum library, ensuring its place as one of the nation's leading art historical research centers.

Born in Cleveland to Louis Henry and Fannie Benedict Severence, John Long Severance was educated at Oberlin College and began his career with the Standard Oil Company. His business interests grew to include paint and vanish, and salt companies. He served on the boards of the Cleveland Arcade Company and Youngstown Steel Door Company, among others. He was also a director of the Cleveland Trust Company. Severance's philanthropic interests included the Cleveland Community Fund, Oberlin College, Western Reserve University, and the Cleveland orchestra in addition to the museum. His generous gifts to the Musical Arts Association included the funds to build Severance Hall as a memorial to his wife, Elizabeth DeWitt Severance.

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Scope and Contents note

The collection consists of four bound books of photographs and descriptions of objects in the John Long Severance Collection. Some descriptions include provenance information.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Ingalls Library and Museum Archives

11150 East Blvd.
Cleveland, OH, 44106
216-707-2492
archives2@clevelandart.org

Conditions Governing Access note

Open to the public. For more information or to access this collection contact archives staff at archives2@clevelandart.org.

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Controlled Access Headings

Personal Name(s)

  • Severance, John L. (John Long), 1863-1936

Subject(s)

  • Art -- Collectors and collecting -- Ohio -- Cleveland
  • Art--Private collections
  • Severance, John L. (John Long), 1863-1936 -- Art collections.

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Collection Inventory

Chinese Porcelains 

Box
1

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Furniture 

Box
2

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Jades and Miscellaneous 

Box
3

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Paintings, Sculpture, Bronzes, Enamels and Textiles 

Box
4

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