Fine Arts Garden records

Fine Arts Garden Records. 1111.037

Summary Information

Repository: Ingalls Library and Museum Archives
Creator: Clark, Harold T. (Harold Terry), 1882-1965
Creator: Olmsted Associates.
Title: Fine Arts Garden records.
ID: 1111.037
Date [bulk]: 1918-1940
Date [inclusive]: 1912-1958
Extent: 1.3 Cubic feet [4 boxes and blueprints and planting plans]
Language: English

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Biographical/Historical note

The Cleveland Museum of Art was constructed on land donated by industrialist Jeptha Homer Wade II. This land is located in Wade Park, a large parcel that, over a number of years during the nineteenth century, was donated to the city by Wade’s grandfather, Jeptha Homer Wade I. Prior to construction of the museum the park was a popular recreation area that included a lake for boating and skating, walking paths, and picnic facilities. However, construction of the museum decimated the landscape surrounding the building. For several years after the museum opened in 1916 the park was minimally maintained by the city. The unsightly bit of land between the museum and Euclid Avenue was the subject of much criticism during this time. In 1923 the Garden Club of Cleveland, whose library was housed at the art museum, appointed a committee to study the problem of beautifying the area. Through various fund raisers garden club members were able to hire the firm of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of Central Park in New York City, to design the Fine Arts Garden. In addition, members of the club, the art museum, and community at large donated funds to commission artist Chester Beach to sculpt the “Fountain of Waters” and signs of the zodiac statues. Funds also were donated for the purchase of marble benches, terraces, and other pieces of statuary for the garden. All of the funds to establish the garden, over $400,000, came from private donations. Maintenance of the garden is funded through an endowment established by Mrs. John Sherwin, president of the Garden Club at the time the garden was planned. The garden was formally presented to the city of Cleveland by the Garden club at a dedication ceremony on July 23, 1928.

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Scope and Content

This small collection consists primarily of records held by Harold T. Clark, museum attorney and president of the Board of Trustees. There is also a folder of Fine Arts Garden Commission minutes, correspondence with the Olmsted Brothers firm who designed the garden, and blueprints. Additional Fine Arts Garden material can be found in the records of the Director's office and unprocessed business office records. Microfilm of the Olmsted Brothers Firm records relating to the Fine Arts Garden is located in archives AV collections. More recent Fine Arts Garden records can be found in the Design office.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Ingalls Library and Museum Archives

11150 East Blvd.
Cleveland, OH, 44106

Conditions Governing Access note

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

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

The Chester Beach papers, held by the Archives of American Art, include materials relevant to the sculptures in the Fine Arts Garden's Court of Nature. Digitized copies exist documenting the purchase and construction of the sculptures. See for more information.

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Controlled Access Headings


  • Fine Arts Garden.
  • Garden Center of Greater Cleveland.
  • Gardens -- Ohio -- Cleveland.
  • Landscape -- architecture -- Ohio -- Cleveland.
  • Sherwin, Frances

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Collection Inventory

Records of Harold T. Clark 1918-1958 


Agreements and by-laws 1918-1931 


Annual reports and Fine Arts Garden Commission minutes 1937-1946 


Annual reports and Fine Arts Garden Commission minutes 1947-1958 


Correspondence 1921-1926 


Correspondence 1927-1930 


Correspondence 1931-1937 


Correspondence 1938-1941 


Correspondence 1942-1947 


Correspondence 1948-1952, 1955 


Dedication 1928 


Endowment funds 1932-1957 


Estimates, repair, and maintenance 1928-1949 


Estimates, repair, and maintenance 1950-1957 


Fundraising, friends 1953-1957 


Planting committee 1924-1930 


Statues: Chester Beach 1926-1929 


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Fine Arts Garden Commission 1932-1936 


Minutes and annual reports 1932-1936 


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Olmsted Brothers 


Correspondence Correspondence 


Correspondence Correspondence 


Correspondence and plans [microfilm copy of records in the Library of Congress] Correspondence and plans [microfilm copy of records in the Library of Congress] 


Correspondence, contracts, and specifications [microfilm copy of records in the Library of Congress] Correspondence, contracts, and specifications [microfilm copy of records in the Library of Congress] 


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Oversize Blueprints and planting plans. 


Blueprints and planting plans. 

Architectural Drawing Drawer 18

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