The spring travel season is underway. Griff Mann, the museum's deputy director and chief curator, shares his picks for exhibitions to see as you roam about the country. Remember to check the reciprocal benefits for your membership level; you may receive admission discounts at these museums by being a member of the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Exhibition Name: The Mourners: Medieval Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy
Where: Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
When: May 8 through July 31, 2011
Why You Should See It: Because these amazing sculptures are traveling once in our lifetime as a group in North America. The ensemble is an enduring testament to the pageantry of grief. Frozen in procession, the figures elegantly convey their personal responses to the death of a patron. Make sure you note our museum's sculptures as part of the group.
Exhibition Name: The American Impressionists in the Garden
Where: The Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, Ohio
When: February 19 through May 15, 2011
Why You Should See It: Because it will set your mind to the changing seasons. More than that, this exhibition is interesting because it considers the varied responses to intimate, domesticated landscapes—taking the private space of the garden as its point of departure. The artists who painted these scenes were both drawn to the image of nature, and drawn to the allure of gardening itself. This show offers a nice parallel to our coming look at the artist/gardener par excellence, Claude Monet, whose work we plan to feature when we make our Water Lilies the centerpiece of a future major loan exhibition.
Exhibition Name: Fiery Pool: The Maya and the Mythic Sea
Where: The Saint Louis Art Museum
When: February 13 through May 8, 2011
Why You Should See It: Because Saint Louis is a great getaway trip, and this exhibition will reward those who attend with a compelling consideration of the relationship between civilization and the sea. Surrounded by the sea in all directions, the ancient Maya viewed their world as inextricably tied to water. This show considers not only the life-sustaining capacity of water, but also explores its status as the vital medium from which the world emerged, gods arose, and ancestors communicated.
Exhibition Name: Gauguin: Maker of Myth
Where: The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
When: February 27 through June 5, 2011
Why You Should See It: The loans assembled for this show are remarkable, and many are not likely to be in one place again for a long, long time. For those whose interest in Gauguin was piqued by our own 2009 show, Gauguin: Paris, 1889, this exhibition offers an expansive look at how Gauguin used his art to shape his self-image. Visiting D.C. as the spring flowers bloom is an added benefit.
Note: Not far from Washington, D.C., you can once again view one-of-a-kind sacred reliquaries; the Treasures of Heaven exhibition has now moved from Cleveland's exhibition hall to the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore for the second leg of the exhibition's tour.