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Must-visit museums in Cleveland for art lovers

Michelle McQuade | January 8, 2019

Cleveland has always been a city that embraces culture, and this is very evident in its vibrant arts scene. The city is home to an assortment of venues perfect for art lovers, featuring works by aspiring artists to world-famous artists alike.

The Cleveland Museum of Art and trees reflected in Wade Lagoon, Cleveland Ohio

Here are some of the best Cleveland art museums you should check out:

The Cleveland Museum of Art

Founded in 1913, The Cleveland Museum of Art is considered one of the world’s greatest art museums, with a collection of more than 40,000 works of art, along with free admission to its permanent collection.

Visitors can see works by masters like Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso, masterpieces from the Italian Renaissance, medieval era artifacts, pre-Columbian artwork and so much more. In addition to its impressive collection, the museum also hosts lectures, workshops and classes, concerts, and film showings.

Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland

The Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (moCa) plays a key role in Cleveland’s vibrant cultural landscape. It is Northeast Ohio’s only contemporary art museum, and is constantly evolving by showcasing new exhibitions three times a year and preparing fresh and innovative experiences for visitors every season. Since it was founded in 1968, moCa has presented works from more than 2,000 artists, often through their very first solo shows.

For nearly 50 years, moCa has introduced contemporary art and ideas to Cleveland and beyond. It was the first museum in the region to exhibit works by cutting-edge artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, Laurie Anderson, and Christo.

Transformer Station

The Transformer Station is one of the newest destinations in the city’s Ohio City neighborhood, and is the Cleveland Museum of Art’s first footprint on the west side of the city. Built in 1924, the museum was previously one of sixteen substations established by the Cleveland Railway Company.

Today, the former substation serves as a free space for contemporary art in Cleveland. In addition to hosting contemporary art exhibits, the venue is also used for performances, talks, and other events.

The Sculpture Center

Founded in 1989, The Sculpture Center is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving public outdoor sculptures and supporting the careers of emerging sculptors in Ohio and the greater region through gallery exhibitions, professional mentoring, and publications. The center exhibits contemporary sculptures, experimental work, installation art, mixed and expanded media, and others.

The Sculpture Center also organizes the annual W2S (Window to Sculpture Emerging Artist) series, which started in 1991. The program is designed to foster and promote the careers of outstanding sculptors during the first decade of their profession. Artists are selected every year for one-person exhibitions usually held from January to May.


ARTneo: The Museum of Northeast Ohio Art is a non-profit regional art history organization that was founded in 1984. Unlike most traditional art galleries which showcases art for sale, the small-scale museum’s mission is to collect the work of prominent Northeast Ohio artists in various media in order to preserve it for exhibitions, research, and education.

ARTneo’s permanent collection includes works from the 19th century to pieces by artists currently working in Cleveland today. The gallery space on 78th Street Studios’ ground floor exhibits the works of selected artists as well as group shows on particular themes.

Searching for other great destinations in Cleveland? Read our other blog articles here.

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