Curator of American Painting and Sculpture (until 1960)
Mark Cole has been curator of American painting and sculpture at the Cleveland Museum of Art since 2006. He completed the reinstallation and reinterpretation of these holdings as part of the museum’s extensive renovation and expansion, while simultaneously launching an extensive reframing initiative. He hosted the exhibitions Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties and William H. Johnson: American Modern; his forthcoming projects include Edmonia Lewis: Masterworks and Strangely Familiar: American Magic Realist Painting. Prior to joining the staff in Cleveland, Cole held curatorial positions at the Columbus Museum of Art.
He has lectured and published on a variety of topics, including Beaux-Arts mural painting, New Deal-era African American artistic production, and commodity sculpture of the 1980s. He recently contributed the essay, “A Life Cut Short,” to the George Bellows retrospective organized by the National Gallery of Art.
Cole holds a PhD from the University of Delaware where he specialized in the history of American art, an MA in art history and museum studies from Case Western Reserve University, and a BS in chemistry from John Carroll University. He was the recipient of a Henry R. Luce Foundation Fellowship in American Art, as well as a Smithsonian Fellowship in American Art.