The Golden Age of Cleveland Art

Frank Wilcox, Public Square

Image Courtesy of Rod Keen and Denise Horstman


A Celebration of Music & Art by Cleveland’s Past Masters!

Cleveland History Center

Opening Reception & Concert: Saturday, December 4th

Doors: 1pm

Concert: 1:30 - 2:30pm

(Norton Gallery)

Exhibition Introduction by Henry Adams: 2:30pm

(Gallery 2)

 Hay-McKinney Mansion Self guided Tours: 1 - 4pm


Cleveland History Center/Western Reserve Historical Society in partnership with the Department of Art History and Art, College of Arts and Sciences, CWRU, and Cleveland Arts Prize present: Honoring Our Past Masters: The Golden Age of Cleveland Art, 1900-1945.





The most ambitious showing of Cleveland masterworks in nearly thirty years, the exhibition will spotlight the achievement of Cleveland’s most remarkable artists from this period, some internationally famous, some still relatively little known, including August Biehle, Margaret Bourke-White, Charles Burchfield, Clarence Carter, Clara Deike, Carl Frederick Gaertner, Raphael Gleitsmann, Joseph Jicha, Max Kalish, Henry Keller, Roy Lichtenstein, James Harley Minter, Elmer Ladislaw Novotny, Hugo Robus, Charles Louis Sallée, Don Schreckengost, Viktor Schreckengost, Hughie Lee Smith, William Sommer, Rolf Stoll, Paul Travis, Abel Warshawsky, and Frank Wilcox.


 August Biehle, Study for Great Lakes Exposition Mural, 1936

Image courtesy Gary and Rosalyn Bombei


More than simply an art exhibition, this project provides an opportunity to celebrate the cultural achievements of Cleveland, and to reflect on the best course for the city’s future.


Please join us at the opening reception for a concert featuring Cleveland Orchestra members Isabel Trautwein (CAP 2012), Alicia Koelz, and Katherine Bormann (violins) Tanya Ell (cello), Robert Woolfrey (Clarinet) with Eric Wong (viola, Cavani Quartet) and Yann Chemali (cello) in Music for Strings and Clarinet by five of Cleveland’s Past Master Composers. Two of which studied with Dvořák; Charlie Rychlik, whose soulful Duet for Violin & Viola kicks off the concert, traded English lessons in preparation for what became the Czech master’s historic sojourn in America. J. S. Zamecnik, went on to become the most sought-after composer of silent film music. Johann Beck’s long-lost 1888 string sextet, in its day called “the foremost composition of its kind yet written by an American,” was found in Cleveland Public Library’s Special Collections. Douglas Moore won immortality with his hit opera The Ballad of Baby Doe; and Ernest Bloch, who was also the first director of the Cleveland Institute of Music, achieved international fame as a major composer whose works have been recorded by Leonard Bernstein and Mstislav Rostropovich.


Curator and art historian Henry Adams will headline the concert with a special introduction to the Exhibition and the Hay-McKinney Mansion ~ decorated for the holidays ~ will be open for self guided tours throughout the afternoon.

The Exhibition runs from December 4 - April 4, 2022 and is open to the public with admission to the Cleveland History Center, free for the opening reception. Tickets are required for the concert. Light refreshments will be served.


COVID-19 Policy: Please bring proof of vaccination and/or a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours. Masks will be required. 


William Sommer, Brandywine Valley, ca. 1918

Image courtesy Gary and Rosalyn Bombei



Cleveland Arts Prize Past Masters Project is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.


General Admission

Members of the Cleveland Orchestra and Friends perform Music by Antonin Dvořák and His Cleveland Protegees. Doors: 1pm Concert: 1:30 - 2:30pm


Student Ticket

For students or attendees under the age of 18 (with accompaniment of adult.)


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