Art to Go
Art to Go Brings a World of Great Art to You!
Bring a one-of-a-kind learning experience and authentic artworks from around the globe and across time into your school, library, community center, or educational space. Art to Go participants use multiple senses as they practice close observation and learn how to carefully handle art objects and artifacts from the museum’s education art collection. Throughout the experience, museum educators guide participants through recording and comparing their observations, making connections, and generating questions about the works. Discussion and curiosity are highly encouraged!
What to Expect from an Art to Go Session
- Each session lasts one hour and accommodates up to 25 participants.
- This is not a lecture. Museum educators and docents will arrive at your location with suitcases of 6 to 12 artworks related to unifying themes or topics. Each presentation is adapted to the ages, developmental levels, and needs of the audience group—from kindergarteners to senior adults. Read on for a list of currently available topics.
- The museum educators will begin with an overview of the Cleveland Museum of Art, its education art collection, and instruction on how to safely handle artworks. Participants will divide into smaller groups to investigate the works and engage in activities and discussions. The session will wrap with a whole group reflection and share-out.
Before You Register for Art to Go
- Art to Go programs are available for locations within a 25-mile radius of the Cleveland Museum of Art, or for groups on-site at the CMA.
- Presentation fees are $125 for a single program, and $75 for subsequent or concurrent programs that take place at the booking site on the same date.
- Presentation fees for Art to Go in the Cleveland Museum of Art are $75.
- Sessions are currently available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
- Sessions must be requested at least four weeks in advance of the program date.
- While museum educators facilitate the Art to Go program, the site organizer or teacher must be present during the entire presentation. For K–12 programs, additional adult volunteers are welcome.
- Each session accommodates a maximum of 25 participants. Sites may request back-to-back or concurrent presentations to accommodate larger groups.
- We require cleared, clean tables, removal of all food and drink, and pencils only.
- Email ArtToGo [at] clevelandart.org to request a visit or more information.
Look Around You: Lines and Shapes
Lines and shapes are building blocks of art. Artists use them—along with other basic elements of design, like color and texture—to create beautiful art objects. The fun and whimsical pieces included in this program, such as a round ceramic horse and geometric bronze sculpture, offer participants the opportunity to engage with artworks, discuss the objects’ formal elements, and draw connections with the world around them!
Repeat, Repeat, Pattern, Pattern
Repeating patterns are so common that we sometimes overlook them. The objects in this presentation, such as a pierced tin lantern or Moorish ceramic tile, offer participants the opportunity to identify and appreciate the beauty and diversity of patterns while encouraging them to notice more in their everyday lives!
The Shape of Words: Art of the Alphabet
Writing began with drawing. Starting with simple pictograms, written language has been vital to our collective understanding of history and our great achievements in science, art, and literature. Artists have long considered the relationship between images and texts, from the art of calligraphy to the role of illustrations. The objects in this program inspire conversations about the functions of the written word in human history and how the digital age launched a new era in visual communications.
Cleveland, Cradle of Creativity: Artists of Our Region
Throughout the 20th century, homegrown and relocated artists created portfolios and careers in Cleveland. Many of the places where they worked, studied, and taught are still active today, including the Cleveland Institute of Art, Karamu House, and the Cleveland Museum of Art. While others, such as the internationally recognized Cowan Pottery Studio, are now closed, their work remains an important part of Northeast Ohio’s artistic legacy. The pieces in this program spark conversations about how Cleveland influenced art forms and fostered artistic talent in the past and continues to do so today.
Life, Death, and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt
From its mummies to its pyramids to its pharaohs, Egypt has long inspired curiosity and wonder. This program offers students the chance to hold and study amazing artifacts from ancient Egypt! Objects featured in this presentation spark conversations and questions about topics that have motivated generations of researchers, including mummification, burial practices, and ancient Egyptian mythology.
Beauty and Elegance in Art from West and Central Africa
This program features artworks from a few of the many peoples across Africa, including the Yoruba, Kuba, and Asante. Made from wood, metal, and textiles, these objects served religious, memorial, practical, and status-related functions. Participants in this program connect to these works through close observation and touch while discussing their artistry, uses, and cultural significance.
Authentic Antiquity: Art of Ancient Greece and Rome
This program brings ancient Greece and Rome back to life through authentic objects and conversation. These objects were once part of everyday life thousands of years ago. How much has changed since then? How much has stayed the same? By close examination and discussion, participants make connections between themselves and the ancient world.
A Knight’s Tale: Armor from Europe’s Renaissance
Knights in armor have captivated the popular imagination for centuries. This program offers participants a rare opportunity to look closely at and interact with real pieces of armor from the 1500s! Participants analyze the materials and Renaissance-era technology used to forge a variety of protective gear while imagining and discussing the lives of the knights and nobles who once used them.
From Tea to Tiles: Trade between Asia and Europe
People have traveled the world for centuries, often spurred by a quest to acquire new resources and “exotic” goods. Using overland routes, like the Silk Road, and sea routes around Africa’s Cape Horn, explorers sought out luxury goods like the Chinese silk, Dutch ceramics, and Japanese enamelware represented in this program’s objects. Participants look closely at the objects to consider the cross-cultural pollination and globalization necessary for their creation and how these phenomena impact us today.
Travel the Silk Road: Journey through Asia
Travel through Asia and experience some of the many cultures and religions on our world’s largest continent! Using authentic works from China, India, and Thailand, participants explore how artistic styles and religions spread throughout Asia and beyond. By examining and discussing these objects, participants discover connections between art, religion, and beauty in the ancient and modern worlds.
Passport to Japanese Art
Japanese art spans thousands of years, multiple mediums, and a variety of aesthetic styles. These religious, functional, and decorative objects connect with diverse aspects of Japanese life and culture. Participants practice close looking, share their observations about the objects, and compare and contrast functions and designs.
Art from the Islamic World
Islamic art is not defined by time period or geography but through its connection to the religion of Islam. Through close study and discussion of this selection of objects, participants gain insight into the complex patterns and rich colors used by Islamic artists throughout Egypt, Turkey, and Iran.
Native North American Art: Before, during, and after Colonization
The dynamic cultures of Indigenous peoples across North America are collectively diverse and individually unique. From the Pacific Northwest to the Great Plains to the Southwest, tribal artists and artisans have been creating beautiful objects of spiritual significance and practical function since long before first contact with European peoples. This program presents objects from across the continent and a selection of the styles, materials, and motifs of Native North American art.
Made in America: Functional Art in Early America
Colonial life was not easy. European colonists often had to make do without things they once considered essential, such as tools, plates, and spoons. As they worked to establish their homes, they had to get creative! Sometimes this meant reusing materials, like transforming an old coverlet into a new curtain. Other times it meant improving technology, as in the case of the Betty lamp. The objects in this program invite participants to imagine American life during the 1700s and 1800s and the resourcefulness of settlers as they embellished their world.
Europeans in the Americas, 1600–1700
In the 1600s, three major European powers—France, England, and Spain—embarked on a competitive conquest to colonize the Americas, known to them as “the New World.” While the world was “new” to European explorers, the land they encountered was already full of a diverse array of Indigenous communities and civilizations. As European convoys set out to survey the land, establish dominant territories, and ship valuable resources back to their kingdoms, they had significant impact on the Native peoples. How did these groups interact, and what effect did they have on each other? Participants study these objects and discuss their connections to Native and European populations and the consequences of colonization in the Americas.
Calling All Gumshoes! What in the World?
In this program, participants examine objects from around the world that might not be immediately recognizable. Using close looking, critical-thinking skills, and group discussion, they develop hypotheses about the objects’ purposes and origins and provide observational details to justify their ideas.
Disguise and Transform: Masks from around the World
For thousands of years, people around the world have used masks for religious ceremonies or entertainment. Masks can help the wearer pass down stories and histories, conceal their identity, or assume an entirely new persona. The globally diverse masks in this program represent a range of functions, from a Japanese theater mask to a ritual mask from Nigeria. These art objects inspire lively discussions about the meanings of masks, their roles across world cultures, and imagination.
Inventions and Influence: Technology and Art in China
As one of the world’s first civilizations, China has been, and remains, an important center for artistic and technological production and innovation. Objects featured in this program focus on advances made by Chinese artists and artisans in ceramics, textiles, and bronze-making techniques. Participants examine and discuss an array of intricate, sophisticated objects and their functions.
How It’s Made: Selected Art Techniques and Materials
Across time and place, artists and artisans have used ingenuity and dexterity to develop an incredible array of techniques to make beautiful and functional items. This program gives students the opportunity to discuss creative processes while examining artworks from around the world, including an ordinary spoon and extraordinary woodblock prints.
The CMA Art Cart and the Art to Go program are made possible with support from the Hershey Foundation.
All education programs at the Cleveland Museum of Art are underwritten by the CMA Fund for Education. Major annual support is provided by the Womens Council of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Generous annual support is provided by Brenda and Marshall Brown, Florence Kahane Goodman, Eva and Rudolf Linnebach, and the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation. Additional annual support is provided by Gail Bowen in memory of Richard L. Bowen, the M. E. and F. J. Callahan Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Walter R. Chapman Jr., Char and Chuck Fowler, the Giant Eagle Foundation, the Logsdon Family Fund for Education, Roy Smith, and the Trilling Family Foundation.