Tag Archives: Cleveland Museum of Art

Giveaway: Cleveland Museum of Art's Bamboo Grove Night

Heaven and Earth Glowing Red, 1964. Fu Baoshi (Chinese, 1904-1965). Horizontal scroll, ink and color on paper; 70.9 × 96.9 cm. Nanjing Museum

UPDATE: Congratulations to mryjnhnsn for winning 2 tickets to Bamboo Grove Night!
When I moved to Cleveland, the Cleveland Museum of Art was the first place I visited. Along with the Orchestra and PlayhouseSquare, it’s one of my favorite cultural gems in the city.

In addition to the museum’s numerous permanent galleries and collections, the Cleveland Museum of Art collaborates with museums around the world to bring more art to the city. 

Starting October 16, the Museum will host Chinese Art in an Age of Revolution: Fu Baoshi (1904-1965), the first retrospective in the Western Hemisphere of Fu Baoshi, a preeminent figure in twentieth-century Chinese art who revolutionized the tradition of Chinese ink painting.

Gottwaldov, 1957. Fu Baoshi (Chinese, 1904-1965). Album leaf, ink and color on paper; 48.7 × 57.1 cm. Nanjing Museum

The exhibition reveals the process of the artist’s self-discovery and personal struggle, as well as the complexity of art and politics in Republican and Communist China. Featuring 90 works on loan from the Nanjing Museum, one of the oldest and most comprehensive museums in China, this is the first collaboration between the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Nanjing Museum.

This is also the first time Fu Baoshi’s work will be viewed outside China. After the exhibit leaves Cleveland on January 8, 2012, it will continue its travels to the Met in New York.

To kick off the exhibit in Cleveland, the Museum of Art is hosting the Bamboo Grove Young Professionals Event on Friday, October 21 from 6:00 p.m.–8:45 p.m. . 

The Two Goddesses of the Xiang River, 1961. Fu Baoshi (Chinese, 1904-1965). Hanging scroll, ink and color on paper; 134 x 68.5 cm. Nanjing Museum

With the brush in his right hand and a glass of wine in his left, Fu Baoshi often painted after drinking to express his true feelings in his work (good idea!). To help young professionals unwind from the work week, the Museum invites the public out for an evening of drinks, art activities, and Chinese takeout.

You’ll have a chance to try your hand at the painting techniques used by the artist and to talk with experts in an informal setting while exploring the first major exhibition in the West of Fu Baoshi’s art. The event is for 21+ and tickets are $18, which include food, admission to the exhibition, and art activities. A cash bar will also be available.

Purchase tickets here or by calling 216-421-7350, or enter the Clue Into Cleveland giveaway to win a pair of tickets.

There are 4 Ways to Enter The Giveaway
**You must leave a separate comment on this post for each entry**

1) Mandatory first entry: Leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite gallery or collection is at Cleveland Museum of Art.

2) Twitter users can get an extra entry each day for tweeting: “Check out @ADHicken’s giveaway for #BambooGroveCMA tickets: http://wp.me/pPIgG-Rd”.  Each day you do this, you must leave a new comment.

3) Follow @ADHicken on Twitter.

4) Like Clue Into Cleveland on Facebook.

You only have three days to enter — the giveaway closes on Thursday, October 13 at 11:59PM.  On October 14, I will select a winner using Random.org and will announce the winner of the 2 General Admission tickets on my blog.  Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry – Good Luck!

(Although not part of the entries, while you’re on Twitter and Facebook, follow @ClevelandArt and like Cleveland Museum of Art to stay up to speed on what they’re doing!)


Disclosure: I was offered two tickets to the Bamboo Grove Young Professionals Event in exchange for this post. The choice of events I share and my opinions on them are 100% my own. Photos from ClevelandArt.org/FuBaoshi

Reading of Vergil's The Aeneid at the Cleveland Museum of Art's Armor Court

The Cleveland Museum of Arts Dido and Aeneas tapestries tell the story of Book IV of Vergils The Aeneid. As part of Vergil Week, Case Western Reserve has partnered with CMA to host a reading of the book next Wednesday.

When I was in high school, one of my favorite subjects was Latin (I’ve said it before – I’m a huge nerd!). A lot of this can be credited to my amazing teacher Mrs. Betty Merrill, a legend at James Monroe H.S. in Virginia. My favorite part of class was that she challenged us while delving deep into classic texts. One of these was Vergil’s The Aeneid, which we translated and read over the course of my junior year.

The Aeneid fascinated me – a sweeping epic poem that tells the legend of Aeneas, a Trojan who flees the city at the end of the Trojan Wars and sails to Italy, where he eventually becomes the ancestor of the Romans. It was full of battles, love, the Roman gods and other mythical creatures. I was enthralled as we worked through it translating it bit by bit.

I’m not the only one the story has fascinated – evident by the numerous retellings, parodies, and works of art it has inspired.  As I wrote a couple of months ago, an example of this can be found in our own backyard at the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Armor Court.

The perfect complement to the weapons of war that fill the room are the Dido and Aeneas tapestries hanging from the walls.  These 8 tapestries tell the tragic love story of Dido and Aeneas – just one of the tales of intrigue in The Aeneid. 

These tapestries – which are as epic in scale as the poem they were based on – were designed and woven in the 1600s by the Roman painter Giovanni Francesco Romanelli and Michel Wauters’ tapestry workshop.

The Dido and Aeneas Tapestries in the Cleveland Armor Court are the perfect complement to the weapons and armor that fill the room.

Since being donated in 1915, they’ve become part of the Cleveland Museum of Art’s history.  They came to the museum during the tenure of its first director, Frederick Whiting, who “believed in elucidating art, not just warehousing it” according to museum archivist Leslie Cade. And except for a few conservation trips, the tapestries have hung in the same place in the museum since its 1916 opening.

While the Armor Court is something you should check out anytime of the year, there’s a unique opportunity to enjoy the room on April 20.  To coincide with National Poetry Month, Case Western Reserve University is celebrating Vergil Week.

The inner Latin geek in me is really looking forward to the lecture, reading and concert they’re hosting next Wednesday evening as part of the week-long festival.  I can’t wait to listen to the dramatic reading of Book IV: “The Dido Tragedy” in the shadow of artwork inspired by it.

The evening starts at 5:30pm with a lecture in the Museum’s Recital Hall by Timothy Wutrich called “Theatricality in the Cleveland Dido and Aeneas Tapestries.” Then at 6:30, the event moves to the Armor Court for the dramatic reading. It concludes with a concert from The Early Music Singers conducted by Debra Nagy.  The celebration is co-sponsored by Case’s Department of Classics and the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities.

Interested in hearing the whole Aeneid? You’ll have your chance the next day, Thursday, April 21, from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm in the SAGES Cafe of Case’s Crawford Hall. Participants are invited to join in a continuous public reading of the full epic and enjoy an exhibition of art inspired by The Aeneid. You can find the full schedule of Case Western Reserve’s Vergil Week on their site. It kicks off with a Vergilian Footrace on Sunday and concludes next Friday with a Symposium called “Tradition: Vergil in Literature and the Arts.”

Cleveland Museum of Art / CWRU Vergil Week 411:

The Cleveland Museum of Art's Armor Court

My most recent trip to the Cleveland Museum of Art was for October's Sketch Crawl in the Armor Court. (photo by ADHicken)

It would be impossible for me to write just one post about the Cleveland Museum of Art and successfully cover all of its exhibitions and collections.  Sure, there are volumes of books dedicated to this city treasure which are capable of doing it justice.  However, if I tried fitting the entirety of the internationally celebrated museum in one entry, it’d be too long for even me to read. 

Similarly, it’s just as difficult to see all of the Art Museum in only one visit. While I’ve been there a few times since moving to Cleveland, I still haven’t explored everything. My most recent visit was in October when the monthly Cleveland Sketch Crawl met in the Museum’s Armor Court

This section of the Museum has always been one of my favorite parts of the recently reopened 1916 gallery. When we came to the city in 2008, the Museum was about halfway through its massive ongoing renovation. The first time we visited the Museum was to see the temporary exhibit Arms and Armor from Imperial Austria. It was an excellent teaser for the re-unveiling of the Museum’s renowned Armor Court which happened later that year.  

The Armor Court features European arms and armor from 1400 – 1700 and includes helmets, weaponry of the blade, arrow and gun variety, and even full body armor for man and horse. Many of the pieces were acquired in 1916, when the Museum’s first director Frederic Allen Whiting persuaded John Long Severance to buy and donate a collection of armor from a collector in Boston. 

Sketch of a helmet and detailing from the State Guard of Elector Christian I of Saxony, 1560-1591 (sketch by ADHicken)

Since then it’s been a hit among visitors — especially children and those who typically have to be dragged to see art — for its glimpse into an exciting (and violent) part of history. In recent decades, curators discovered that some of the pieces original to the exhibit were fakes made of mismatched parts. These have since been replaced with authentic armor. The now fully genuine collection is housed in a beautiful, light-filled, enclosed courtyard.  With the 2008 reopening, the Armor Court was returned to how it looked in 1998, when it last underwent a top-to-bottom renovation.

When I visited for the Cleveland Sketch Crawl, I spent some time walking around the gallery trying to figure out what I wanted to draw during my short stay. While I was there, I enjoyed tracing the evolution of armor from Medieval to Renaissance times.

In the Middle Ages, there were mail tunics, or hauberks, that provided lighter-weight, more-flexible protection than their iron predecessors. Made of thousands of metal rings linked together, mail armor was coupled with helmets and shields for additional security.

Because of the challenges presented by longbows, crossbows and eventually firearms, plate armor became the new necessity in the Renaissance. These full suits of armor were made of hundreds of steel plates joined together to fit their owner specifically. This allowed for full protection, but also continued to offer the flexibility needed to fight. Other aspects of the body armor made shields unnecessary by deflecting attacks with angled surfaces. These surfaces also became a blank canvas for detailed designs and etchings such as a family’s coat of arms or illustrations of a warrior’s skill and style.  

A trip to the Armor Court allows you to view this evolution, as well as the weapons that inspired them.  For Medieval armor, there are examples of mail shirts from the 1400s in Europe and helmets from places like Italy. Likewise, there are full-body and partial suits of plated armor from the Renaissance, such as the centerpiece of the Museum’s Armor Court: the Field Armor for Man and Horse. One of the most memorable sights of the room, it’s a life-size model of a man and horse both decked out in full gear. The suit is from North Italy with gilding, leather and velvet etched with the Arms of the Vols-Colonna Family. It’s a magnificent site that can stop first-time visitors in their tracks.

Sketch of Armor for Man and Horse with the Arms of the Vols-Colonna Family, about 1575 (sketch by ADHicken)

Hung on the walls of the Court is my other favorite highlight of the room – the Dido and Aeneas tapestries. These 8 tapestries tell the tragic love story of Dido and Aeneas in The Aeneid, Virgil’s ancient Roman epic poem and the subject of my Latin studies in my junior year of high school. In addition to having a soft spot in my heart for the story (I loved translating Latin), it’s also portrayed on a beautiful, dynamic and very large scale.   

The tapestries were designed and woven in the 1600s by the Roman painter Giovanni Francesco Romanelli and Michel Wauters’ tapestry workshop, respectively.  They were donated in 1915 and are a permanent installation to the Museum. However, their constant exposure to light has caused the original colors to irreversibly fade, something that has prompted the Museum’s rotation of textiles to improve preservation.

The Sketch Crawl group spent over two hours in just this one room.  Fortunately, because admission to the Cleveland Museum of Arts‘ collections is free, you can take as many trips as you’d like to explore it — something I’m a long way from finishing on my list of Cleveland places I’d like to fully ‘clue into.’  Recognized as one of a few institutions still allowing no-cost access to 40,000+ objects spanning 6,000 years of achievement in the arts, the Museum fulfills its mission of being not just one of the world’s most distinguished comprehensive art museums but also one of Northeast Ohio’s principal civic and cultural institutions.

For a student of the arts, the Museum is also an excellent muse as you can freely explore the architecture and non-special-collection works up close and personal. As the building project continues through 2013, there will be even more sources of inspiration. However, if you plan on sketching at the Cleveland Art Museum, there are a few guidelines to protect the works there. The museum only allows pencil for sketching. You are not permitted to bring in pens, ink of any kind, paints, pastels or charcoal for obvious reasons.  Read the full gallery policies before you go.

The next Cleveland Sketch Crawl will be Jan. 8 at the Mounted Police station. (photo of mounted police from coolhistoryofcleveland.blog.com)

Numerous other options for sketching abound in Cleveland, as I continue to experience via the Cleveland Sketch Crawl. The next Crawl is this coming Saturday, Jan.  8th, 10am – noon. We’ll be venturing to the Cleveland Mounted Police station on the near eastside of Downtown. Check out the Cleveland Sketch Crawl blog for more information, including a link to where the station is located (since Google Maps will give you the wrong location if you try looking for it).


Cleveland Museum of Art 411: