Spearing Fish (detail), c. 667-647 BC.Egypt, Thebes, Late Period. Limestone;26.4 x 25.8 cm. Gift of the Hanna Fund 1949.499
  • Spearing Fish (detail), c. 667-647 BC.Egypt, Thebes, Late Period. Limestone;26.4 x 25.8 cm. Gift of the Hanna Fund 1949.499

Lifelong Learning

Videoconferences: Step by Step

Verify that you have the appropriate equipment for videoconferencing. (Tip: information technology professionals with whom you work should be able to help). You will either need standard H.323 equipment or have a computer with a plug-in web camera, speakers, a microphone (such as a personal/group USB PC speakerphone), cables for connection, a projector, and screen, or large-scale monitor.

Visit the Distance Learning area of the Cleveland Museum of Art website at http://www.clevelandart.org/learn/dl for up to date information on topics and for registration.

Select the topic for your 45-minute presentation and register from the link on that program’s description. (Tip: call 216-707-2468 or email dcizek [at] clevelandart.org should you need assistance.)

A test call between the museum and your site a few weeks before the videoconference is strongly recommended. Please test using the equipment with which you will be connecting on the day of your actual presentation.

At the appointed time for the presentation, connect using the information sent to you by the Cleveland Museum of Art and enjoy the interaction.


Rates, Schedule, and Connections

Presentations are available Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Eastern time. Suggested length of presentations is 45 minutes. They are scheduled on a first come, first served basis.

Videoconferences must be registered through our website. Please complete the online registration form, providing all requested information. An e-mail acknowledgement will be sent to you within 7–10 business days.


Presentation Topics

The museum offers over 40 live, interactive topics, several of which are available in French, Spanish, German, and Italian. Other languages can also be arranged. We recommend 45 minutes for these presentations for your group.

African Art: Secular and Supernatural

Compare ritual and royal objects from the Yoruba and Edo peoples of Nigeria to learn how their rulers maintain worldly authority with the assistance of supernatural forces. Participants will delight in examining a colorful beaded crown that empowers a Yoruba ruler and a three-hundred-year-old bronze sculpture that establishes legitimacy for an Edo king. These and other stunning objects introduce divination, mythology, and communication with ancestors to your group.

African Masks

Learn why African artists use animals as points of reference in mask-making and how masks are used in ceremonies. Compare the differences and similarities between African and American masks in terms of materials, and roles in life and seasonal cycles.

America’s Story through Art

By examining American art and artifacts from the CMA’s collection, this series promotes discussion on America’s national character and heritage. All five presentations, developed by a team of Advanced Placement teachers and museum staff, may be scheduled as a series or individually.

America Emerging, the 1700s

Discussion includes developing American identity, folk art, the influence of the Age of Reason, the effect of the mercantilist economy, and underlying causes of the American Revolution.

America Expanding, 1801–1861

Program covers 1801–61 and explores frontier life, the results and impact of westward expansion, landscape painting, Jacksonian democracy, and genre art.

America Transforming, 1860–1918

We examine the years 1860–1918, including momentous social changes brought about by urbanization, industrialization, immigration, and technological inventions.

America Enduring, 1913–1945

Explore the period from 1913–45, an era that includes unprecedented prosperity, the Great Depression, social and political change during the interwar period, and the artistic reaction to European influence: regionalism.

America Diversifying, 1945–2000

Focusing on the years 1945–2000, this presentation highlights the empowerment of various segments of American society from the postwar period and beyond. We discuss such themes as civil rights, changing gender roles, the rise of the consumer, the decline of social hierarchy, and the impact of technology on American life and art.

Ancient American Art: The Aztecs and Their Ancestors

Optional Spanish language presentation is available for an additional fee.

This presentation introduces the art of selected cultures in ancient Mesoamerica (today, Mexico, Guatemala, and adjacent countries). Objects of ceramic, gold, and stone (including jade) shed light on religion and rulership among the Aztec, Maya, and others in the centuries before European contact.

Biblical Representations in the Collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art

Biblical themes have long been creative fodder for artists––an opportunity to explore dynamic, sometimes unsettling narrative content and to exercise visual experimentation within a particular school of aesthetics, thought, or personal style. This two-part series exploring representations of characters and scenes from both the Old and New Testaments in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art provides an overview of how selected artists have dealt with these time-honored episodes throughout the history of art.

Old Testament

The Old Testament videoconference explores the stories of Abraham, Jonah, and Lot. Join us for a sense of how the interpretation of these important stories varies in style and media, yet endures thematically through the millennia.

New Testament

The New Testament videoconference introduces depictions of Jesus, Mary, and John the Baptist in paintings, prints, and in carved ivory, for example. Join us for a sense of how the interpretation of these important stories varies in style and media, yet endures thematically through the millennia.

Canine Companions

At our feet, on our laps, and at the door, dogs have been humankind’s companions for millennia. See how artists from ancient times to the present have used a variety of media to represent canines as status symbols, friends, protective spirits, and eager assistants at the hunt.

Coins, Coins, Coins

Coins, Coins, Coins allows viewers to explore the history of currency by introducing coins from ancient Greece to present-day United States in the museum’s collection. If desired, participants can use a coin template (shown on camera) to conceptualize what a coin representing their community would look like in terms of local symbols and landmarks.

Cleveland Museum of Art Tour

Explore the architecture and galleries of the renowned Cleveland Museum of Art. This casual look at the collection includes recent installations of art and enduring favorites such as works in the Armor Court. Participants will “travel” through the museum enjoying special focus on highlighted pieces such as the medieval table fountain and Queen Isabella’s book of hours, a compilation of lavishly illustrated manuscripts. Opportunities abound to ask questions and learn more about the institution whose mission is helping “the broadest possible audience understand and engage with the world’s great art. . . . ”

Contemporary Art: Mid-Century and Beyond

Discover the stimulating and diverse art of the later 20th and early 21st centuries. Beginning with the mid-century action painter Jackson Pollock, viewers encounter styles ranging from Abstraction to Pop Art to variations of Realism. Painting and sculpture by artists represented in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art are presented along with information about selected techniques used to create these works.


Discover the ingenuity of one of the world’s earliest civilizations through this lively series of four videoconferences. Programs may be scheduled individually or as the full four-program series.

If registering for the full series, please submit all four registration forms for the four program dates requested at the same time.

Egyptomania 1: Introduction to Daily Life

Through the use of art and artifacts from the CMA’s collection, participants are acquainted with Egypt’s natural environment, and aspects of daily life such as food, clothing, shelter, and recreation.

Egyptomania 2: Hieroglyphics

Learn how to decipher some of the sacred writing of Egypt in this fascinating look at a communication system over 4,000 years old.

Egyptomania 3: Mummies

Find out how the Egyptian desire for an eternal afterlife contributed to the ritual of mummification. Learn about the process of mummification and see ancient artifacts from the museum’s collection, such as canopic jars, mummy cases, amulets, and much more!

Egyptomania 4: Animals

Why were so many Egyptian gods portrayed as part human and part animal? This presentation explores how ancient Egyptians observed animal behavior and ascribed animal characteristics to their gods.

Form, Function, and Faith

This program explores the relationship between building form and function by focusing on three Cleveland-area historic houses of worship: Saint Theodosius, a Russian Orthodox Church; Temple Tifereth Israel, a synagogue; and the Kirtland Temple, a 19th-century Community of Christ (Latter Day Saints) Church. Themes such as architectural history and the use of geometry in planning these sacred spaces assist in understanding how these buildings compare in their design.

Co-developed by the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland State University’s Center for Sacred Landmarks, the American Institute of Architects (Cleveland Chapter), and the Lake County Educational Service Center.

French Art

Optional French language presentation is available for an additional fee.

French art has been renowned throughout the centuries for its elegance and inventiveness. In this overview of French masterworks in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art, explore everything from luxury goods made for the Dukes of Burgundy prior to the Renaissance to shimmering paintings by Impressionists to colorful compositions by the Fauves.

Geology Rocks!

For thousands of years, artists have used beautifully colored stones for jewelry, sculptures, and paint pigments. All of these rocks and minerals were formed during the group of transitions known as the Rock Cycle. In this program, participants will learn about the characteristics of rocks prized by artists—their hardness or softness, the way they reflect light, their ability to draw or make a streak—and how geologists use those properties to identify and understand how they developed in the earth.

German Art

Optional German language presentation is available for an additional fee.

Discover luxurious sacred items, manuscripts, armor, and prints all made by German artists and craftsmen. From medieval treasures to Meissen porcelain to contemporary paintings, this presentation introduces the art of Germany in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art and includes works by Durer, Kirchner, Klee, and numerous others.

Gods and Heroes from Greece and Rome

Using bronze sculptures, coins, ceramic vessels, and a carved marble sarcophagus from the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art, we investigate the exploits of Herakles, Athena, Perseus, Orestes, and others who vividly populated the imagination of the classical Western world. This is one of a series of presentations that compares the myths of several cultures as well as character traits of their heroes, and connections to the natural world.

Gods and Heroes of India

The adventures of Rama and Hanuman in the Indian epic The Ramayana are just a few of the fascinating stories of Hindu and Buddhist gods and heroes covered in this introduction to the history and culture of India. Participants are introduced to the incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu as the man-lion Narasimha and the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Avalokiteshvara, through works of art in the museum’s collection.

Gods and Heroes of the Maya

The Maya Popol Vuh (Council Book) relates tales of the Hero Twins who make the world safe for the arrival of human beings. Participants explore this creation myth and other aspects of the Maya culture by examining artifacts from the Cleveland Museum of Art. Related discussion involves Maya hieroglyphs, notions of royalty, the sacred ball game, and the natural resources of Mesoamerica.

Harlem Renaissance

Travel back in time to bustling New York City of the 1920s and discover the art, literature, and music produced by African Americans living in Harlem during this period. Participants are introduced to artists such as Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, and photographer James Van Der Zee, as well as to the poetry of Langston Hughes.


Optional French language presentation is available for an additional fee.

Learn about the works of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters such as Monet, Degas, van Gogh, and Cézanne, whose experiments with the effects of different light conditions and paint applications created a new way of seeing the world. The period in which these artists worked had much in common with our own era of rapid technological change and improved standards of living. We will also compare works by the Impressionists with pieces by academic artists of the official Salon.

International Perspective on Contemporary Art

Inspired by the theme of International Mindedness, a strand in International Baccalaureate school curriculum, the presentation begins with a study of orientalism and gradually moves on to highlight perspectives of contemporary artists from around the world. We explore the innovative approaches of these artists as they contrast and combine elements from various cultures in their work.

Italian Art: From Etruscan to Modern

Optional Italian language presentation is available for an additional fee.

Italy has a long and rich tradition in the visual arts, but what do these images communicate about the country’s history? This presentation provides a survey of Italy’s artistic heritage by exploring why particular subjects were depicted in sculptures, paintings, and decorative arts. Learn how factors such as patronage and subject matter convey some of the ideals and events important to residents throughout Italy in the last two thousand years. The objects shown range from decorative arts made by the ancient Etruscans to a print created by Boccioni, a proponent of the Italian Futurist movement in the early 20th century.

Japanese Art: Humble and Bold

Japanese art encompasses aesthetics ranging from earthy and subtle to colorful and luxurious. In this presentation you will encounter works in a variety of media, including ceramics used in the tea ceremony, enamelware, and folding screens made from paper and wood. Discussion focuses not only on the formal qualities of these works, but also on their practical uses. Critical thinking is encouraged through analysis of the works of art as an indicator of Japanese social values and tastes.

L’Art de L’Afrique

Optional French language presentation is available for an additional fee.

Former French colonies in Africa have a rich and complex history. Explore the traditional arts of selected countries such as Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Cote d’Ivoire in this program suitable for any group studying African culture and/or the French language.

Medieval Masterpieces

Rich intellectual and technical achievements distinguish the art of the Middle Ages. Throughout Europe, manuscript illumination, architecture, sculpture, and metalwork flourished under the patronage of church and court. In this presentation you will encounter splendid liturgical objects such as a gold and porphyry altarpiece made for an 11th-century German countess, and a silver vessel for a holy relic that once belonged to a Byzantine emperor. Courtly items also include a whimsical table fountain and Gothic-style tapestries made for a chateau. Biblical subjects such as Daniel in the lion’s den—seen on a medieval column capital—help make connections between art and religion for classes studying world religions, culture, and/or European history.

Modernism: Early 20th-Century Art

Optional French language presentation is available for an additional fee.

Fauvism, Cubism, Surrealism, and other selected movements in early 20th-century art are introduced through the museum’s collection. Explore the visual innovations of artists such as Matisse, Picasso, Mondrian, and Miró in a period marked by the primacy of personal expression over a realistic rendering of the world.

Monuments Men: The Cleveland Connection

This program examines Cleveland’s connection to the “monuments men” by highlighting objects in the museum’s collection and museum staff members in the decades following the war who participated in the discovery and rescue of art stockpiled by the Nazis.

Relief Printmaking: A Japanese/German Comparison

In this presentation on the history of relief printmaking participants examine the varied techniques and tools used by Western and Asian artists to create their works. Additional topics include the change in function of prints, from religious aids during the Middle Ages in Germany and elsewhere to the use of Japanese prints as part of popular tourist culture in the 19th century. We will compare origins of both printmaking traditions and learn about the sequence of Japanese woodblock printmaking.

Renaissance Painting: An Overview

Selected paintings from the CMA collection help acquaint participants with the Renaissance, the transitional period of European history in which learning and the arts blossomed and medieval thought was gradually subjected to the beginnings of scientific scrutiny. Portraiture, early landscape elements, and contemporary details in these works show the artists’ growing attention to the world around them. Specialized vocabulary words (for example, perspective, patron, altarpiece, tondo) introduce basic concepts related to Renaissance painting.

Repatriated Art

Repatriation is the process by which museums and other institutions transfer possession and control over human remains, sacred objects, and items of cultural patrimony back to their place of origin. During the program we will examine some aspects of repatriated art and the issues surrounding it. The presentation includes a selection of objects from the museum that have been removed from their original context, as well as some that have been returned. Participants will be asked to think about various sides to these cases, and toward the end of the conversation, they will be asked to debate some of the issues.

Scary Art

Fun for Halloween or any time––this videoconference features goblins, witches, and dastardly doings! Explore otherworldly paintings and prints by Francisco Goya, Salvator Rosa, and Albert Pinkham Ryder for an art journey to the other side. Participants discuss superstition in the 1600s, including the Salem witch trials.

Self-Portraits: Forms of Identity

How we see ourselves influences our perspectives, our decisions, and the daily experience of living. Artists create tangible evidence of their process of reflection through self-portraits. By observing how luminaries from Rembrandt to Picasso represent themselves, we explore a variety of artists’ personal statements, historical moments, and technical approaches.

Spanish Art

Optional Spanish language presentation is available for an additional fee.

This program features paintings by artists working from or born in Spain. Renaissance, Baroque, and modern Spanish art offer a varied stylistic range to participants, who also learn about the cultural and historical context of the works highlighted. Many of the artists—El Greco, Goya, and Picasso, for example—are among the best known in Western art history and may already be familiar names.

Tomb Culture of Ancient China

Participants are introduced to selected objects found in ancient Chinese tombs as a way of surveying history from the late Neolithic era (3,000 BC) to the Tang Dynasty (618–907). These objects reveal the contents of ancient tombs and shed light on similar types of items used for daily life. In addition, these tomb goods––ritual vessels, figurines, and musical instruments––represent exemplary workmanship in jade, bronze, and ceramics. Working methods with these materials are also explored.