The Cleveland Museum of Art

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Records of the Registrar's Office: Photographs

General Overview of the Records /
Series Descriptions

The photographs taken by the Registrar's office provide visual documentation of the history of the museum galleries. They provide information on special exhibitions, changing display practices, and capital changes to the galleries themselves. The photographs are almost all black and white 8 x 10" glossy prints, with only a few 4 x 5" and 5 x 7" prints. They are organized into three series: 1.) numbered galleries [View Series 1 boxlists, Boxes: 1-10; 11-20; 21-30; 31-43], 2.) named galleries and museum spaces [View Series 2 boxlist], and 3.) accretions [View Series 3 boxlist]. The three series are organized numerically and alphabetically, respectively, by the number or title they were called as of February 2002. Under each gallery number or name, the photographs are organized chronologically. Folders are labeled by the gallery number or name contemporary to their date, with the current number or name (if different) listed in brackets next to the original one. Details of the gallery numbering changes are listed in the appendix, organized by the current gallery number.

If the photographs are associated with an exhibition, the exhibition title and dates are given. Because the photographs are arranged by gallery rather than exhibition, all of the photographs from the same exhibition will not be grouped together if the exhibition was held in more than one gallery. All of the gallery views in series one are of exhibitions or gallery renovations. Fewer photographs are available for the 1970s and 1980s than for other time periods. Galleries that housed a number of special exhibitions have more photographs, while galleries that generally housed only the permanent collection were photographed only after major renovations. Photographs in series two contain fewer exhibition photographs and also document some non-gallery spaces in the museum, such as the auditorium and cafeteria.

There are three exceptions to the numerical sequence in series one. First, because many of the photographs of print exhibitions spanned more than one gallery (any of galleries 104-112), multi-gallery photographs of the print galleries are located prior to the photographs of gallery 104. Second, the original Gallery 16 in the 1916 building (destroyed with the creation of the current Asian galleries) is located following the rest of the galleries on level one of the museum. Third, because the 1984 renovation of the west side of 1958 wing redesigned all of the galleries, the original galleries of the west side of the 1958 wing are grouped together under their original number. These photographs precede the photographs of the renovated galleries, listed under the current gallery number.