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"Forbidden Games” is an exhibition of 167 of the 178 photographs David Raymond donated and sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art in 2007. The show, which runs through Jan. 11, 2015, includes works taken from 1920 through the 1940s by such major surrealist and modernist photographers as Man Ray, Bill Brandt, Brassaï and Hans Bellmer, as well as many less well known, such as Dora Maar, Marcel G. Lefrancq and George Hugnet. There are also works by photographers not ordinarily identified with either tendency who nonetheless occasionally took pictures that could be so considered. The images Mr. Raymond assembled make a grand introduction to important aspects of art photography between the end of the First World War and mid-century.

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The Morgan Library and Museum announced today that it has tapped John Marciari to lead its department of drawings and prints. Mr. Marciari, who is currently an independent curator, previously worked as curator of European art and head of provenance research at the San Diego Museum of Art.

“I am delighted that John Marciari will be joining the talented team of curators in our department of drawings and prints,” William M. Griswold, the Morgan’s director, said in a statement. “John is a noted scholar and curator with an exceptional record of achievement in the areas of connoisseurship, collection-building, and public engagement.” (Mr. Griswold announced last month that he will leave the museum to become director of the Cleveland Museum of Art.)

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For the first time, the Cleveland Museum of Art will conserve one of its treasures in front of museum visitors. The Crucifixion of Saint Andrew by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was painted in 1606–7 and is among the most important paintings in the museum’s collection. Audiences will be able to witness firsthand the skill, planning, research, and technical analysis that go in to a major conservation project. A sophisticated paintings conservation lab will be constructed in the museum’s focus gallery so that visitors can watch the process unfold. Conservator of Paintings Dean Yoder will be in the gallery on weekdays working on the first phase: cleaning the painting by removing deteriorated varnish layers and old retouching.

Bringing the traditionally unseen work of conservation to the public eye will draw attention to the museum’s sustained investment in caring for its renowned collection.

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Seven months after David Franklin abruptly resigned as director of the Cleveland Museum of Art, with museum officials later saying he had lied to them about his extramarital affair with an employee, the institution has named a high-profile successor from New York, signaling a new chapter in its 98-year history. He is William M. Griswold, who has led the Morgan Library & Museum for nearly seven years. Mr. Griswold, 53, who will start his new job in the fall, said he decided to leave New York because he relishes running a bigger institution, with one of the most encyclopedic collections in the country.

“All told, I’ve been at the Morgan for 13 years,” Mr. Griswold said, including his years as head of its drawings department, from 1995 to 2001, as well as his years as director, from 2008. “I’m ready for my last big challenge.” Mr. Griswold also ran the Minneapolis Institute of Arts for two years.

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Wednesday, 23 April 2014 11:43

Goya Portraits go on View at the Met

Between 1786 and 1788, the Spanish artist Francisco de Goya painted four portraits of the Count of Altamira’s family. For the first time ever, these works, which are dispersed in public and private collections, will be exhibited together at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

“Red Boy,” which depicts Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zuñiga, and “Condesa de Altamira and her daughter, Maria Agustina” are part of the Met’s collection. With help from the Spanish Consulate in New York, the Met was able to procure Goya’s portrait of Count Altamira, Vicente Isabel Ossorio de Miscoso from the Bank of Spain as well as the painting of his son, Vicente Joaquin de Toledo, which belongs to a private collection. The exhibition also includes a fifth portrait of the Count’s middle son, Juan Maria Osorio, which was painted by Goya's protege, Augustín Esteve. The work is on loan from the Cleveland Museum of Art.  

Goya was contracted to paint a series of portraits of people connected to the Bank of San Carlos (now the Bank of Spain), which included the Count, one of the bank’s first directors and an important collector and patron of the arts. The Count was so pleased with Goya’s work that he commissioned the artist to do the rest of the Altamira family portraits. The Altamira paintings are among Goya’s earliest portraits of aristocrats. He was later appointed First Court Painter to the Spanish Crown.

“Goya and the Altamira Family” will be on view at the Met through August 3.

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The Cleveland Museum of Art announced that it has received a $10 million gift from an anonymous donor to further strengthen the institution’s mission and core principles, which focus on scholarship, artistic excellence and community engagement. Thanks to the donation, the museum has established two endowments -- one to support community engagement activities and another for interpretation of its permanent collection. Interpretation efforts will include research and curriculum development.

Recently, the Cleveland Museum of Art began to reevaluate its community engagement program and decided to transition from a traditional community arts model to a more comprehensive, multi-faceted effort. The generous gift will help the museum bring its new community engagement strategy and its related activities to fruition. The strategy will help the museum form stronger connections with local and regional communities while drawing in new audiences.

A portion of the gift was used to help fund the purchase of Deccan and Mughal paintings from a Los Angeles collection formed by Catherine Glynn Benkaim and the late Ralph Benkaim. The acquisition of the Benkaims’ collection, which includes 95 works from India’s major Islamic courts, helped diversify the Cleveland Museum’s holdings.

The donation also helped the institution complete a 3-to-1 matching grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The resulting fund will be used to develop and enhance text labels, audio and video clips, gallery lectures, and interactive technology. The rest of the $10 million gift will be used for a variety of projects such as public art, performances, and off-site programs.

Fred Bidwell, the Cleveland Museum of Art’s interim director, said, “This incredibly generous gift really touches upon the fundamental initiatives of the Cleveland Museum of Art. The establishment of the two endowments and the Benkaim Collection acquisition reflect the museum’s mission and help to leverage this vision to optimally benefit its diverse communities. Adhering to the highest standards of excellence in scholarship, artistic excellence and community engagement, the museum can contribute to and enhance the quality of life of Northeast Ohio citizens and beyond.”

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After eight years, the Cleveland Museum of Art’s  $350-million expansion and renovation project has come to a close. The museum’s west wing opened to the public last week, revealing new galleries adorned with statues, sculptures, and other works from China, India and southeast Asia.

The Cleveland Museum of Art’s expansion project began in 2005 and new galleries for Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and African art opened in 2010. Last year, the museum opened a glass-enclosed atrium, which connects the old museum buildings to the new structures. The project has created significantly more exhibition space and room for educational programs and events at the museum. 

The Cleveland Museum of Art was established in 1913 and is celebrated for its substantial collections of Asian and Egyptian art. 

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Case Western Reserve University in Ohio and the Cleveland Museum of Art announced a joint venture that will advance both institutions and prepare future curators, scholars, museum directors and academic leaders for careers in the arts. The endeavor was inspired by Cleveland Museum of Art trustee Nancy Keithley and Case Western Reserve trustee Joseph Keithley. The couple has committed $15 million to bring The Nancy and Joseph Keithley Institute for Art History to fruition.

Case Western and the Cleveland Museum have been longtime collaborators and the highlight of the Keithley Institute is its reimagined joint doctoral program that the museum and university first developed together in 1967. The program emphasizes object-oriented study, which entails seeing objects firsthand as well as participating in the curating process and other aspects of museum operation. The Keithleys’ generous donation will provide graduate students stipends and travel fellowships as well as compensation for curriculum development, teaching and collection seminars.

David Franklin, the Sarah S. and Alexander M. Cutler Director of the Cleveland Museum of Art, said, “We are honored that Nancy and Joseph Keithley chose to help us realize our shared dreams of a dynamic, world-class institute. Their gift is not a gift of collaboration, but also the opportunity to realize incomparable opportunities for students, faculty, staff and the public.”

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After being cancelled by Sicilian officials in July, Sicily: Art and Invention between Greece and Rome will open at the Cleveland Museum of Art on September 29, 2013 as originally planned. Sicilian officials feared that the traveling exhibition, which features 145 objects that celebrate the Greek culture that dominated Sicily between the 5th and 3rd centuries, was hurting the island’s economy, leading them to abruptly cancel the show.

Sicily: Art and Invention between Greece and Rome features a statue of a charioteer that measures six feet tall and a gold libation bowl, both of which are popular tourist attractions. The works are typically displayed at the Whitaker Villa on the tiny island of Mozia off of Sicily’s main landmass. Sicilian officials initially asked for more money for the loan but the Cleveland Museum refused, leading to the cancellation of the show. The two parties eventually reached an agreement and the institution will loan several of its masterworks, including Caravaggio’s Crucifixion of Saint Andrew, to Sicily in 2014.

Sicily: Art and Invention between Greece and Rome will be on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art through January 5, 2014.

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Sicily: Art and Invention between Greece and Rome will not go on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art as previously expected. Sicilian officials claim that the loan has been hurting the island’s economy and have called off the traveling exhibition, which was slated to open at the institution in September.

 The show features 145 objects that celebrate the Greek culture that dominated Sicily between the 5th and 3rd centuries, B.C.E. Highlights include a statue of a charioteer that measures six feet tall and a gold libation bowl, both of which are popular tourist attractions. The works are typically displayed at the Whitaker Villa on the tiny island of Mozia off of Sicily’s main landmass.

 Sicily: Art and Invention between Greece and Rome is currently on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles through August 19, 2013. The Getty has offered to cover the Cleveland Museum of Art’s costs, which were to be shared between the institutions.

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