It got late in the day. Ruth & I had time for one more attraction. We were in downtown Cleveland. It was down to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and The Cleveland Museum of Art. The woman at the visitor center helped us decide. She told us that the Cleveland Museum of Art was this city’s biggest and best attraction. It was fairly close at 11150 East Blvd. so we chose it and later wished we hadn’t.
Our problems began almost immediately. We could not find the attached parking garage. This museum is free, but parking in its garage costs $10. We chose meter parking on the street in front of it. The meter was distressed. We had quarters but could not read the time we had. Then we could not find the entry door. It was 3 pm before we were inside this vast museum.
We decided that we had better see its greatest treasures because of the hour. These began with its rare Apollo Sauroktonas. Attributed to the great Greek sculptor Praxiteles and dubbed The Cleveland Apollo, we headed for it. Most works of art of this quality were melted down, but this Apollo miraculously survived and arrived in Cleveland in 2003. This museum was closed due to COVID and did not reopen until January 18, 2021. We got a museum map and tried but failed to find the Apollo. We found a museum employee and asked about what to see. He told us that Monet’s “Waterlilies” was their biggest attraction among its 45,000 works, and he reminded us that this museum is one of the top museums in the USA. Many rank it the 4th best museum of its type in the country. Monet produced more than 250 paintings of waterlilies in his later years, and we had seen several of them. “Where is it?” I asked. “Up that escalator,” he said. So we abandoned our desire to see this museum’s Egyptian and African art galleries that it’s known for, its Tiffany display, its Shiva, its Armor Court, and its famous Rodin Thinker that this museum bought directly from Rodin for display. We headed for the Monet. It took a while to find it and it had gathered a crowd not too far from another of this museums’s listed treasures, an Andy Warhol “Marilyn Monroe”.
Neither of this museums temporary exhibits, Motherhood Across Time and Revealing Krishna: Journey to Cambodia’s Sacred Mountain” held appeal to us although 2 of its upcoming exhibits, a Giacometti show and the Keithley Collection both sounded interesting. In retrospect, we should have tracked down its special Caravaggio called “The Crucifixion of St. Andrew” and its newishly acquired Lorenzo Lotto, our favorite Renaissance artist, but we did not.
We left exhausted and dissatisfied after having taken great effort to visit this admittedly great museum.