Cleveland Museum of Art views the 20th century with fresh enthusiasm in reinstalled East Wing galleries
Posted August 20, 2012 in Articles
Author: Steven Litt
The Cleveland Museum of Art has been oddly quiet about the reopening of its East Wing galleries devoted to modern and contemporary art, which occurred without hoopla last Saturday.
It could be that the museum feels it has bigger news to announce this fall. Or perhaps it doesn’t want to attract fresh attention to the embarrassment of a glitch in its ongoing, eight-year, $350 million expansion project, due for completion in late 2013.
The museum closed the East Wing modern galleries in March, only 2½ years after they opened, so it could replace problematic insulation that allowed condensation to form inside walls on cold winter days, leading to leaks on warmer days in the conservation labs one floor below. At the time, museum Director David Franklin said the institution would also turn misfortune into opportunity by using the closure to rethink its perspective on the 20th and 21st centuries.
Whatever the reason, the reticence about the reopened galleries is strange, because the museum has turned a $300,000 repair project into a serious second look at how it should deal with art from the 1920s forward.
The results are, for the most part, terrific.