must cma


must cma

There are some things that you must cma.

The Cleveland Museum of Art creates transformative experiences through art, “for the benefit of all the people forever.” See what makes the CMA one of the top art museums in the nation with these iconic works of art.

Not sure where to locate these artworks? Download ArtLens App for free and find the Must CMA tour by selecting “tours” from the landing page, then press “featured.” The app’s wayfinding technology will guide you to each artwork.



Water Lilies (Agapanthus), c. 1915-1926, Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926). The Cleveland Museum of Art 1960.81.

Water Lilies (Agapanthus)
c. 1915-1926, Claude Monet 

Monet spent the last 30 years of his life painting the lily pond at his home in Giverny, France. Monet’s water lilies paintings are a product of the artist’s fascination with the water’s shimmering surface and reflections.

Did you know? The Cleveland Museum of Art’s painting is the left panel of a triptych. Its companions are now in the St. Louis Art Museum and the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.

Totem 01/01/18 (Baga-Batcham-Alunga-Kota, Hervé Youmbi (Cameroon). The Cleveland Museum of Art 2018.5.

Totem 01/01-18
2018, Hervé Youmbi 

In assembling numerous masks into one towering contemporary sculpture, Youmbi brings together five African countries. By doing so, art historical practices that organize African objects according to ethnic, cultural, or regional styles are challenged.

Did you know? This towering sculpture is carved from a single block of wood and covered with thousands of beads.

Marilyn x 100
1962, Andy Warhol

The image of Marilyn Monroe in Marilyn x 100 is appropriated from a publicity still for the 1953 film Niagara. By borrowing recognizable imagery from the consumer marketplace, Warhol incisively questioned the meaning of culture, whether high or low.

Did you know? Warhol revolutionized artistic production during the 20th century through what he termed business art: “Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art.” 

The Thinker
1880, August Rodin

One of Rodin’s most famous works, The Thinker was part of a commission to represent Dante’s epic 1321 poem, The Divine Comedy. The CMA's is one of only 10 Rodin-supervised casts.

Did you know? On March 24, 1970, at 1:00 a.m., a bomb irreparably damaged the CMA’s Thinker. No one was injured in the blast, but the statue’s base and lower legs were destroyed.

Statuette of a Woman: “The Stargazer”, c. 3000 BC, Early Bronze Age, Western Anatolia?, 3rd Millennium BC. The Cleveland Museum of Art 1993.165.

Statuette of a Woman: “The Stargazer”
c. 3000 BC, Early Bronze Age, Western Anatolia?

One of the oldest sculptures of the human figure in the museum, The Stargazer looks to the stars above as powerful divine forces. One of just 30 such figures known, her completed form makes her exceptionally rare.

Did you know? Historians understand that the sculpture is a female figure because of the incised triangle at the pelvis.

Stag at Sharkey’s
1909, George Bellows

Depicting a fight at Sharkey’s Athletic Club, Bellows captured the force and energy of the struggle by blurring the scene’s details with rapid brushwork. Whenever a non-club member competed, he was given temporary membership and known as a “stag.”

Did you know? Bellows chose painting over a career as a professional baseball player.

Masterworks of Asian Art

Nataraja, Shiva as the Lord of Dance
1000s, South India, Tamil Nadu

This elegant and dynamic figure embodies the Indian conception of the never-ending cycle of time as well as Shiva’s roles as creator, preserver, and destroyer of the universe.

Did you know? The figure beneath Shiva’s foot personifies ignorance, upon which Shiva lands with every step in his dance.

Tomb Guardians
Early 700s, China, probably Shaanxi province

With their fierce expressions and exaggerated physical features, these two fantastic guardian creatures were intended to protect the entrance to a tomb, warding off evil as well as keeping the soul of the deceased from wandering.

Did you know? The glaze of these statues includes a rare blue, indicating the princely status of the individual who was to receive their protection.