The Cleveland Museum of Art

Background
Overview
Box List

Records of the Construction of the Cleveland Museum of Art: 1958 Building

General Overview of the Records

The collection of materials was artificially brought together from materials gathered by Harold T. Clark, the buildings and grounds department, the director's office, and possibly other departments as well. Over time the original provenance and order of the of the records was lost. Clark stored many of the records in his office in downtown Cleveland, possibly because the museum was closed and had no where else to keep them, not necessarily because he was the records creator. These records were transferred to the museum over a period of several years in the 1960s. The origin of the rest of the records is not clear, though some of correspondence is with buildings and ground staff, Milliken, and Lee. It is possible the records were kept in a central location and shared across departments. Given their uncertain history, the materials were compiled together into two series: administrative records and photographs. Blueprints which were folded up in the administrative records were removed and transferred to the design department, where they were added to an already existing collection of blueprints from the 1958 addition.

The administrative records [View Box List], organized alphabetically by record type, form the largest part of the collection. The records mainly focus on the building process itself, including specifications, construction reports, change orders, and certificates for payment. The correspondence, most of which is organized chronologically, details the hiring of the architect and contractor and the process of designing the new building and altering portions of the 1916 building. The correspondence also contains numerous proposals from subcontractors and billing information. Subcontracts, invoices, and statements for the subcontractors are located in the subcontractors' files. Beyond the building process the records include information about fundraising efforts and the new wing's dedication. Photographs [View Box List] provide a pictorial history of the construction process, through photographs taken by the contractor and by the museum. They also document the ground-breaking ceremony, cornerstone laying, and the dedication. The photographs are organized by topic in century albums.