From its very beginning, the Cleveland Museum of Art has been an institution “for the benefit of all the people forever.” These words are key to understanding the museum’s role in the local community and beyond. One of the ways the museum is demonstrating this commitment to inclusive programs is manifested in the new “How Do You See It” multilingual advertisements and visitor guides.
By Jim Engelmann
Designing an exhibition is all about the stuff – the cases, the walls, the graphics, the labels, the lights, and most of all the works of art – the things that people come here to look at. What are they? How many? How big? When will they be here? Are they fragile? Do these belong together or apart? … on and on and on.
For the third installment of our Five Questions series, we spoke with Tom Catalioti, the museum’s director of facilities. Catalioti has been with the museum since 1976!
Q: What groups make up the museum’s facilities department?
A: The facilities department includes custodial, engineering, grounds, and building maintenance needs. As the director of facilities, I oversee these groups.
One of the great features of our new web site is its New Perspectives section. The section brings the voices of the museum to life through video and audio interviews with curators, artists, and even past directors as they reflect on significant pieces of art within our collection.
What's on view currently in New Perspectives?
Art of the American Indians: The Thaw Collection, which draws from the renowned Native American art collection at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., is making its traveling debut at the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) before moving to Minneapolis and Indianapolis. Below, Susan Bergh, associate curator for art of the ancient Americas at CMA, talks about the origins of the exhibition and the relationships she developed with members of Cleveland’s Native American community.