The Frick Collection
Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, 16 October 1834, 1835, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Bequest of John L. Severance
Exhibitions: Cleveland Museum of Art

Masterpieces of European Painting from The Cleveland Museum of Art
November 8, 2006, through January 28, 2007

  Andrea d?Angnolo del Sarto (1486?1530), The Sacrifice of Isaac, c. 1527, oil on poplar, 178.2 x 138.1 cm. (70 1/6 x 54 2/5 in.), Cleveland Museum of Art
  Andrea d’Agnolo del Sarto (1486–1530), The Sacrifice of Isaac, c. 1527, oil on poplar, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio, Delia E. Holden and l. W. Holden Funds

When planning for the newly built Cleveland Museum of Art, Frederic Allen Whiting (1873–1959), the first director of the institution, turned his attention to New York. Specifically, he looked to Henry Clay Frick’s collection of paintings, hoping that the coke magnate might lend fifty of his choicest works to Cleveland for the inaugural exhibition in June 1916. Frick ultimately denied Whiting’s request, but how appropriate that the current exhibition of paintings from The Cleveland Museum will be displayed in proximity to the very works identified by Whiting as the standard to which his young institution should aspire.

Like The Frick Collection, which is housed in Frick’s Beaux-Arts mansion, built 1913–14, The Cleveland Museum’s original building is a Beaux-Arts building, designed by the Cleveland firm Hubbell and Benes and built between 1913 and 1916. As the collection expanded, more space was needed: a 1958 addition doubled the size of the museum; Marcel Breuer (1902–1981), the eminent Modernist and Bauhaus veteran, designed an innovative bunkerlike structure in 1971, which housed new galleries, lecture halls, and educational facilities; a 1983 addition provided space for the museum’s extensive library and more galleries. The current renovation by Rafael Viñoly Architects will unite the 1916 neoclassic edifice with Breuer’s sleek 1971 building, creating an east and west wing and a glass-covered central piazza.

Widely recognized as one of the premier collections of Old Masters and nineteenth-century art in North America, The Cleveland Museum of Art, like The Frick Collection, was established with funds bequeathed by wealthy private individuals whose fortunes were made during the Gilded Age’s industrial boom. Its diverse permanent collection numbers more than forty thousand objects from a wide array of geographic locations, including Western and non-Western art. Spanning six thousand years, it contains art from ancient times to the present and includes, besides paintings, drawings, prints, photography, sculpture, and decorative arts.

The exhibition is made possible, in part, by the generous support of Melvin R. Seiden in honor of Sherman Lee and by Mr. and Mrs. Walter A. Eberstadt in honor of Michael J. Horvitz. The accompanying catalogue is made possible, in part, by Lawrence and Julie Salander.