The growth of image collections in U.S. educational and cultural institutions has evolved since the early days of photography and the image collection at the Cleveland Museum of Art is no exception. Images have played a critical role in the educational and research functions of the museum. In its earliest days, lantern slides played a significant role in the history of the museum. As early as July 1914 Cleveland Museum of Art director, Frederic Whiting, used lantern slides to illustrate his talks on American Museums in order to publicize the new Cleveland Museum.
Education has always played an important role in the mission of the Cleveland Museum of Art. When the museum opened in 1916 one of the two spaces on the museum's ground floor, dedicated to work with children, was the Children's Museum. The goals of the Children's Museum were to foster a "love and knowledge of art,"1 stimulate children's imaginations, and provide visual representations of school lessons in design, history and geography.2 The space was filled with child-sized tables and chairs and stocked with paper and crayons to encourage drawing.
Pochoir, literally the French word for stencil, is both a centuries-old printmaking process and an important chapter in modern graphic arts. Pochoir came to refer to fine stencil printing in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. It reached its zenith in Paris between 1910 and 1935 where it was used to decorate everything from elegant fashion magazines and limited edition illustrated books, to greeting cards, wallpapers and advertisements.
The Ingalls Library Scroll Collection contains approximately fifty Chinese and Japanese scrolls, including a number of them purchased from or donated by Sherman E. Lee (1918-2008). Some of the scrolls are limited original productions by the scholars' studios, whereas others are reproductions of fine classical works.
Change was coming for the arts, though not as yet in 1911 Cleveland. Although traditional art schools had been in existence since the late 1870's, Cleveland's working industrial and commercial artists, by day laboring lithographers and engravers, had trained under European artists, and they knew about Modernism. Carl Moellman, an "ardent disciple" of the late Robert Henri, wanted to promote Henri's loose and free style. His friend and fellow artist, William Sommer, was in his post-impressionistic period of painting.
Gustav Stickley was born in Wisconsin in 1857, the eldest of Leopold and Barbara Stoeckel's eleven children. He apprenticed to his stone mason father at a young age but dropped out of school and the trade when his father abandoned the family. By the time Gustav reached sixteen, the family had relocated to Pennsylvania to be near his mother's relatives. As the eldest child, he accepted the task of supporting the family, working at the Brandt Chair Company, owned by his uncle, where he became a manager and foreman. In 1883, he opened a furniture business with his brothers.
During his first visit to Tahiti (1891-1893), Paul Gauguin documented his experiences in his travel journal, Noa Noa. We first encounter the phrase, 'noa noa,' when Gauguin describes the scent of the Tahitian women:
A mingled perfume, half animal, half vegetable emanated from them; the perfume of their blood and of the gardenias—tiaré—which they wore in their hair.
"Téiné merahi noa noa (now very fragrant)," they said.1
William and Julia Marlatt's gifts to the museum's collection and Ingalls Library were both unexpected and magnificent. William H. Marlatt (1869-1937), and his wife Julia Morgan Marlatt (1873-1939), quietly amassed a collection of fine books, paintings, etchings, and manuscripts.
Between 1900 and the mid 1950s, Cleveland laid claim to being one of the largest cities in America, ranking between 5th and 7th place for five decades.1 Its population grew in pace with its industrial complex, and its downtown skyline took shape while landscapers and naturalists readied its unprecedented network of public parks.
Edward S. Curtis's monumental project, The North American Indian, resulted in twenty large picture portfolios, each with about thirty-nine photogravures intended for framing, and twenty accompanying text volumes in a leather bound edition. Produced between 1907 and 1930, The North American Indian was available by subscription and was collected mostly by wealthy patrons and major library and museum collections. It cost $3,000.
Curtis was an established society photographer in Seattle, who grew bored with conventional portraiture.