Cleveland Museum of Art Launches Extensive Online Initiative

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click to enlarge Cleveland Museum of Art Launches Extensive Online Initiative
Howard Agriesti, courtesy of the Cleveland Museum of Art
Due to coronavirus concerns, the Cleveland Museum of Art closed to the public last month. It won’t open anytime soon, but until then, the staff has worked to amp up its online engagement.

Its new digital program, “Home is Where the Art Is,” seeks to “meet a range of audiences through multiple offerings that appeal to diverse learning styles and artistic tastes.” The program regularly features content focused on current and future special exhibitions as well as recent acquisitions, including more than 100 works of art from the collection of Clevelanders Joseph P. and Nancy F. Keithley.

Collection Online enables users to access more than 61,000 artworks. There are 30,000 public domain artworks included in this collection, which allows online visitors to “share, collaborate, remix, and reuse” the images for commercial and non-commercial purposes.

Collection Connections: Family Fun features thematic explorations of the collection through questions and creative prompts. This gives adults an interactive way to explore the collection with their school age children. Each connection is centered on a theme such as "feelings," "still life," "landscape" and "storytelling."

CMA Sketch features a weekly prompt inspired by the collection, and the museum encourages participants to draw “something unexpected.” New prompts are released on Facebook and Instagram and posted to CMA website every Thursday. The ArtLens App allows users to explore and connect with the collection from anywhere. This online feature includes curated tours created by CMA staff.

The museum's new Video Series shares current insights of CMA curators share their insights about items from the museum’s collection in the Video Series. These videos will come out weekly. On View Now looks at current exhibitions, and On My Mind shares insights on artworks CMA curators are thinking about from home. A new series showcasing highlights featured in the gift of more than 100 works of art from the Keithley’s collection is in the works too.

Desktop Dialogues, a weekly online LIVE conversation featuring museum curators, educators and other presenters discussing works in the collection that address issues people are facing today. Viewers will have an opportunity to pose questions and comments during the live program.

Beginning April 29, Desktop Dialogues will happen every Wednesday at noon. They’ll be available through Microsoft Teams Events, and access information will be posted in an event on the museum’s Facebook page.

On the museum’s blog, dubbed CMA Thinker, readers have access to stories from the museum and “art from another angle” through “deep-dive pieces” on a single artwork written by curators and behind-the-scenes pieces featuring conservators.

And finally, the Digital Archives feature all kinds of content, including audio and visual recordings of past museum programs and events, oral histories, archival photographs, preliminary drawings, renderings and works of art by artists represented in the museum’s collection.

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Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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