March 2021 on-site exhibitions and virtual event listings for the Cleveland Museum of Art


On-site Exhibitions

Stories from Storage

Through May 16, 2021

The Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Exhibition Hall and Gallery

Stories from Storage represents the CMA’s creative response to adversity. When the pandemic upended international travel in March 2020, temporarily delaying projects that had been in development for years, the museum reimagined its schedule of exhibitions by drawing on its own resources. This exhibition offers a thoughtful and focused examination of multiple important themes through seldom seen works of art carefully selected by each of the museum’s nearly two dozen curators. It conveys not a single, linear narrative but multiple stories that complement one another.

Stories from Storage features an anthology of 20 short stories told by the museum’s director, chief curator, curators and director of academic affairs and associate curator of special projects, all of whom communicate surprising new insights about the objects they have chosen from the CMA’s vaults. At times philosophical, humorous, contemplative, playful and historical, each story reveals a unique element within the museum’s encyclopedic collection, representing human creativity across the globe, from the ancient world to today.

Major support is provided by the Sandy and Sally Cutler Strategic Opportunities Fund and Malcolm Kenney. Additional support is provided by Astri Seidenfeld. Generous support is provided by Russell Benz, in memory of Helen M. DeGulis, by Carl M. Jenks, and by Robin and Andrew Schachat.

Last Chance! Exhibition Closing This Month

Second Careers: Two Tributaries in African Art

Through March 14, 2021

Julia and Larry Pollock Focus Gallery

Second Careers explores the connections between historical African art and contemporary practices through a selection of exemplary highlights from the museum’s African collection and loaned works. CMA objects from nine cultures in Central and West Africa—male and female figures and masks, a masquerade costume, a hunter’s tunic and a prestige throne—are juxtaposed with large-scale installations, sculptures and photographs by six leading contemporary African artists.

The exhibition considers the status of canonical African art objects when they begin their “second careers” upon entering museum collections. It simultaneously examines contemporary modes of artistic production in Africa that employ mediums that once served other purposes in everyday life.

Generous support is provided by Ben and Julia Brouhard.

Now Open!

Laura Owens: Rerun

CMA at Transformer Station

Through May 30, 2021

Laura Owens (b. 1970) is known for her ranging and experimental approach to the medium of painting. Her work embraces a breadth of sources from the avant-garde to the popular to the decorative. Owens grew up close to Cleveland in Norwalk, Ohio, and as a teenager spent many hours studying the CMA’s encyclopedic collection. Having lived in Los Angeles for the past three decades, she now returns to Cleveland to develop an exhibition in collaboration with high school students participating in the CMA’s Arts Mastery program, Currently Under Curation. They are Jamal Carter, Xyhair Davis, Skylar Fleming, Yomi Gonzalez, Joseph Hlavac, Agatha Mathoslah, Arica McKinney, Maya Peroune and Deonta Steele.

Owens was recently the subject of a mid-career retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2017–18), which traveled to the Dallas Museum of Art (2018) and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2018–19). Other recent solo exhibitions were at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2016); Secession, Vienna (2015); and Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany (2011). Owens studied at the California Institute of the Arts and the Rhode Island School of Design.

Major support is provided in memory of Myrlin von Glahn.

Transformer Station, the CMA’s sister contemporary art museum
1460 West 29th Street
Cleveland, OH 44113

For hours and other information, visit

Gustave Baumann: Colorful Cuts

Through June 27, 2021

James and Hanna Bartlett Prints and Drawings Gallery

Like many Chicago artists in the first years of the 20th century, Gustave Baumann discovered the beauty of rural Brown County in Indiana. While living in Nashville from 1910 to 1916, he produced his first important set of color woodcuts. In 1917 he headed east before traveling the next year to New Mexico, where he spent the rest of his life. Exhilarated by the state’s natural beauty, he settled in Santa Fe and over the next five decades produced complex color woodcuts that captured the area’s intense sunlight and arid atmosphere. Baumann’s prints portray not only stunning mountain scenery but also Indigenous adobe architecture and scenes representing Native American and Hispanic cultures. Over the years, Baumann made numerous trips around New Mexico, Arizona and California searching for additional picturesque venues, such as at the Grand Canyon and among giant sequoias, all of which became subjects of beautiful color woodcuts.

Principal support is provided by Kenneth F. and Betsy Bryan Hegyes, Leon* and Gloria Plevin and Family, and the Print Club of Cleveland. Major support is provided by the Ann Baumann Trust.


Fashioning Identity: Mola Textiles of Panamá

Through January 9, 2022

Arlene M. and Arthur S. Holden Textile Gallery

The mola is a key component of traditional dress among the Indigenous Guna (formerly Kuna) women of Panamá. Guna women have been sewing mola blouses since the turn of the 20th century, and they have become powerful symbols of their culture and identity. During the Guna Revolution of 1925, Guna people rallied around their right to make and wear molas as a statement of their independence. They ultimately gained sovereignty over their territory, an archipelago of hundreds of small islands along Panamá’s Atlantic coast, known collectively as Gunayala.

Molas are masterfully hand-sewn cotton panels that are made in pairs and sewn into blouses. They feature a wide array of vibrantly colored compositions, with designs ranging from geometric abstraction to imaginative scenes inspired by popular Western culture. This exhibition presents both individual mola panels and complete mola blouses from the collections of the CMA and Denison University in Granville, Ohio. The molas on display span distinct periods of Guna history, from the era of the 1925 revolution to the 1980s.

This exhibition was supported in part by the Ohio Arts Council, which receives support from the State of Ohio and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Bruce Davidson: Brooklyn Gang and the contemporary art galleries are closed for reinstallation until April 20, 2021.

Virtual Events

The following events are part of the museum’s free, dynamic digital initiative Home Is Where the Art Is, which showcases the CMA’s globally recognized digital resources and offers a variety of newly created fun and engaging programs for people of all ages. These sustainable digital experiences continue to complement the in-person museum experience now that the CMA has reopened. to access all of the available programming. 

Education Series: Desktop Dialogues

Every first and third Wednesday at noon, listen as curators, educators, community leaders, artists and others offer new ways to look at and understand artworks, special exhibitions and museum-specific issues. Past Desktop Dialogue programs are available at

Storytelling in Japanese Art  
Wednesday, March 3, 2021, noon, EDT, FREE

Join Andrew Cappetta, curator Sinéad Vilbar and CMA intern Jeanna Lopez for a close examination of an illustrated handscroll of the family drama The Saltmaker’s Story (Bunshō Zōshi).

Vilbar and Lopez reveal the meaning of important narrative details, share their investigative research process and discuss how mentor-mentee relationships drive innovation in museum scholarship. 

Desktop Dialogues: An Art Anthology 

Wednesday, March 17, 2021, noon, EDT, FREE

For this special series of Desktop Dialogues, organized in collaboration with Literary Cleveland, four local storytellers offer a creative interpretation of select works from the special exhibition Stories from Storage

Chapter One

Playwright Eric Coble (The Velocity of Autumn, Bright Ideas) draws from photographs of popular tourist locales to create the dramatic monologue “That Which Can Be Held.” Watch Coble’s live performance and afterward join him and curator Barbara Tannenbaum for a conversation about the fantasy and romance of travel in image and spoken word. 


Chapter Two

Wednesday, April 7, 2021, noon, EDT, FREE

Historian Sarah Lohman

Chapter Three

Wednesday, April 21, 2021, noon, EDT, FREE

Musical collective Mourning [A] BLKstar

Chapter Four

Wednesday, May 5, 2021, noon, EDT, FREE

Poet Kamden Hilliard

From Creation to Collection: Making and Marketing Drawings in 19th-Century France

Thursday–Friday, March 11–12, 2021, 2 p.m., EDT, FREE, ticket required

Please view the detailed scheduled here.

In anticipation of a major exhibition and publication focused on the Cleveland Museum of Art’s holdings of 19th-century French drawings in spring 2022, scholars from across the globe present new research related to the materials, function and collecting of drawings during this period.

To reserve free, general admission tickets, or for more information about the museum’s new safety procedures, visit

The Cleveland Museum of Art is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays.

The Cleveland Museum of Art is funded in part by residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

All exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art are underwritten by the CMA Fund for Exhibitions. Major annual support is provided by the Estate of Dolores B. Comey and Bill and Joyce Litzler, with generous annual funding from Mr. and Mrs. Walter R. Chapman Jr., the Jeffery Wallace Ellis Trust in memory of Lloyd H. Ellis Jr., Ms. Arlene Monroe Holden, Eva and Rudolf Linnebach, William S. and Margaret F. Lipscomb, Tim O’Brien and Breck Platner, the Womens Council of the Cleveland Museum of Art, and Claudia Woods and David Osage.


About the Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art is renowned for the quality and breadth of its collection, which includes more than 63,000 artworks and spans 6,000 years of achievement in the arts. The museum is a significant international forum for exhibitions, scholarship and performing arts and is a leader in digital innovations. One of the top comprehensive art museums in the nation, recognized for its award-winning Open Access program and free of charge to all, the Cleveland Museum of Art is located in the University Circle neighborhood.

The museum is supported in part by residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and made possible in part by the Ohio Arts Council (OAC), which receives support from the State of Ohio and the National Endowment for the Arts. The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally and economically. For more information about the museum and its holdings, programs and events, call 888-CMA-0033 or visit

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