Friday, August 24, 2012

Cleveland Museum of Art: Contemporary and Photography Galleries Open House @ClevelandArt #ColumnAndStripe

Members of Column & Stripe, The New Friends of the Cleveland Museum of Art were invited to join members of the Contemporary Art Society and the Friends of Photography for an open house and reception for the recently reopened Contemporary and Photography galleries and their curators. Since these two are my favorite of the museum's galleries there's no way I'd turn down the invitation.

Before heading up to the galleries we assembled in the Recital Hall on the lower level of the Breuer building for an enlightening introduction.

The Contemporary Art Society introduced new Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art Reto Thuring who illustrated the new arrangement of the contemporary galleries as grounded more in themes and inviting dialogues between pieces rather than the previous, more chronological arrangement. As an aside, the new arrangement of the temporary walls in the galleries leads to a much more open feeling.

Not to be outdone Barbara Tannenbaum introduced the current photography installation DIY: Photographers (through December 20), highlighting digital Print on Demand photo books from a wide swath of photographers, some internationally known professionals and some local high school students. Unlike other areas of the museum where touching art is verboten, this exhibition invites you to pick up and thumb through the 157 photo books that were selected -- from the smallest [I found] being Things Darby Chewed not much larger than a credit card, to the largest, Astronomical a twelve volume set where each page represents one million kilometers in the universe (Yes, there are a lot of black pages).

And perhaps the most exciting news: This coming Tuesday the "Art Detour" from the North Entrance through the museum's basement to the galleries will end as the spectacular Atrium opens to the public for the first time-- I can't wait to see and hear people mingling in Cleveland's new great room.

(Full disclosure: I serve as the chair for Column and Stripe's Philanthropy Committee)

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