Tyler Green
Art-focused Journalism by Tyler Green

Tyler Green Modern Art Notes

America’s Favorite Art Museum: The final four

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We’re down to four in MAN’s America’s Favorite Art Museum tournament. The first final four match-up pits one museum that has been working social media and probably every other form of digital communication imaginable to run up huge vote totals. The passion Toledoans have for the Toledo Museum of Art is clear. The TMA’s opponent has been the tortoise of the tournament: Slow, steady, knocking off all comers. The first semi-final:

Cleveland Museum of Art on MAN: Cleveland acquires a Mark Grotjahn. Cleveland acquires an Omer Fast. [Both are on view now.] Updating 1916 in Cleveland. The museum’s collection website.

Toledo Museum of Art on MAN: Toledo acquires a 1963 Wayne Thiebaud. Toledo acquires a sexy Paul Cadmus. Childe Hassam and two-point perspective. The museum’s collection website.

The poll has expired.

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  1. Jen says:

    You make it sound like the support the TMA has is only a hometown pride thing drummed up in some campaign, but anyone who’s ever been to the TMA would understand exactly why it rates up there as one of the best in the country. I grew up just blocks from the Toledo Museum of Art and would go there just to cool off on hot summer days, not fully appreciating how extremely fortunate I was. It was only after I got old enough to travel that I realized what an absolute gem we have here, when so many of the other museums I visited truly paled in comparison. The TMA will knock your artsy socks off. Come see for yourself. It’s absolutely worth a trip.

  2. Christina says:

    I second what Jen (first comment) says, and add that the TMA is especially exceptional (at least, from my point of view) given the size of Toledo. I’ve lived in NYC and LA and do love the Met and MoMA and LACMA and MoCA, etc., etc., etc., and I grew up in Kansas City taking children’s art classes at the Nelson-Atkins, another Midwestern gem. And now I live in Toledo, and the TMA, though smaller than even the Nelson-Atkins, ranks as truly excellent in the care and quality of its collections, in its outreach to the general public (I’ll be taking a grown-up class there starting next month!), and in its management of its greatest strengths (e.g., the glass collection and the building that house it are both *phenomenal*).

    I just visited the CMA last week and was impressed, but Cleveland is much larger than Toledo (today and historically), and yet the TMA holds its own alongside the CMA. And for that reason I think it deserves everyone’s vote!

  3. Claudia Sundberg says:

    TMA just finished their GlasFest on the Lawn of thre Glass Pavilion. It was wonderful, comoplete with a blues band, silent auction with wonderful baskets filled with all kinds of goodies and glass bowls hand blown as demo bowls by Toledo artists. There is always something going on.Children and adults enjohyed the many craft projects.

  4. Chris says:

    Nothing to do with hometown pride, although I am from and grew up in Toledo, I have worked at The Cleveland Museum of Art for the past year, and realize that it is a completely disfunctional organization. Art Collections are very important, yet an inability to address visitor concerns concerning events and education in a structured manner while allowing large amounts of funds to be lost to continuous theft from staff and misappropriate use of funding. Current focus from the Marketing department is use $$ to implement the use of Skype for department meetings. While these departments are located within a few miles of each other…..complete structural/departmental incompetence/lack of awareness…great use of your public funding

  5. Rebecca says:

    TMA is a world-class wonder. My first experiences of it was as a child taking art classes there. Imagine four little girls from Genoa, Ohio going to the art musuem each Saturday for a class. We felt like we had hit the big time – not only were we “without chaperone” in the class, our class explored the collections and each week we discovered another media in which to work. TMA’s outreach program still exists today, for young and old alike. Everytime I visit the museum, I like to stroll past the classes to see the new discoveries being made by others. TMA rocks, that’s for sure.

  6. Duane says:

    TMA’s website is rather stingy as far as showing off the collection.

  7. K. Stacy says:

    My vote goes to Toledo! Good luck guys!

  8. Claudia Wolfe St.Clair says:

    I’ve toured famous museums and art collections across the United States, Europe, and South America. The Toledo Museum of Art stands up to every one of them! Throw in the Glass Pavillion and you have a KILLER combination! Art snobs of America…Toledo would WELCOME you!

  9. KW says:

    The TMA is a gem!! Our Dutch Collection is so good that one summer I visited the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and found 2 pieces on loan from TMA.

  10. Red Stanley says:

    I have visited both museums and find the overall experience at Toledo to be much more inviting and rewarding. Cleveland may have a larger foot print but it is really about what is in the shoes. Vote for Toledo..!

  11. SPR says:

    The Cleveland Museum of Art gets my vote. Absolutely gorgeous with something exciting and new every time I visit. Can’t wait to see the finished product when renovations are complete.

  12. Lori says:

    Cleveland all the way!!
    Best collection
    Best city ….

  13. Amanda says:

    The TMA collection has always been remarkably representative of world art history, from ancient pieces to modern masterworks. The pieces are carefully chosen, and have exceptional merit both as parts of a collection and as individual works. MFAH in my city (Houston) may be “edgier,” but it’s a bit too niche if you’re looking for an immersive, all-encompassing art experience. You just can’t beat the spectrum at TMA.

  14. Lynne says:

    Cleveland will always get my vote, the best FREE museum in the country. Having grown up with the museum, the collection is magnificent, the new additions are stunning and many of the programs that are not always art related offer so much to our diverse city.

  15. Kerry says:

    The TMA is special.

    How many other major art museum have a world famous collection…and keep their doors open for free?

  16. rose cook says:

    Toledo Museum of Art is the “Jewel in the Crown,” of all the museums in the United States,

  17. Beth says:

    TMA is awesome…from a world class collection of art and artifacts, to their programs, their TGIF music, art, and programs, the international award winning Glass Pavilion and a restriction from founder Libby that the museum always be free to the public. Amazing place!

  18. Sue says:

    The Toledo Museum of Art is a wonderful comprehensive collection of works dating back to ancient times. Natural lighting enhances these works of art. I have lived in Toledo all my life, have taken art classes at the museum as a young child and as an adult, and have toured the museum with my class as a second grade teacher. The museum has something of interest for everyone!!! A few years ago, they built an exclusive glass museum for the vast collection of glass works of art; it too is a spectacular collection but is also a training place for glass artisans. The Toledo Museum of Art is very deserving of this accolade.

  19. A. RALSTON says:

    When my son went to Itlay he wrote to us “Mother, everyhing I learned at the TMA has come to life.”
    As a youngster he attended art classes .
    His ship went to the Med. and he visited all the wonderful places that he had learned about at the museum.
    Oh, how happy I was to hear this from him.
    Thankyou Toledo Museum of Art or the classes for children

  20. Lea says:

    We’re new to Toledo but immediately appreciated the welcoming presence of the TMA (whose world class reputation preceded it) and accessibility to all audiences. We’ve lived in Boston, Kansas City, Rochester, and Toledo, enjoying the art museums in all locations, but none is the rare gem of the TMA!

  21. Kristy says:

    My favorite exhibition of TMA’s was a basement/storage show. It exhibited items with unclear origins or artists, and explained why these pieces weren’t kept on regular display. One of the most throught-provoking and discussion worthy exhibitions I have ever had the opportunity to view. While I’ve participated in class walk-throughs in Cleveland and Toledo, the exhibits in Toledo frequently stimulate conversation on their own; no leading questions required.

  22. Ken says:

    I have been going to the TMA since I was in grade school, 60 years ago. Seeing some of the great art works of world come to Toledo is something I will always remember. As a senior person, the cost of membership is very reasonable. After visiting museums in some other locations in the US, I feel we have one of the very best at any price.

  23. Brett Taylor says:

    lets go TMA

  24. Mary says:

    We have lived all over the country and visited many but TMA is the epitome of what every art museum should strive to be. Thank you to all who have and continue to make it possible——

  25. MAMM says:

    The TMA is a jewel, excellent exhibitions, free, friendly, a welcoming museum worthy to visit.

  26. MAMM says:

    I’ve visited museums in many countries where I’ve found art pieces on loan from the TMA. Very proud of the Toledo Museum of Art, worthy to visit.

  27. Kieran says:

    My teacher used to walk World History classes to TMA, after every
    major cultural area had been studied, neither rain nor snow kept
    us from these journeys. Working in pairs we studied one gallery extensively. If a special happening outside of school time took
    place at TMA, we met there. Often we would bring family along as
    well. Going to TMA becomes a lifelong habit and a tradition to
    pass on. ALmost forgot the Peristyle…a classic music hall and
    home of the Toledo Symphony. “Our” art has traveled worldwide.

  28. Charlotte Rozzi says:

    One of my early memories of moving to Toledo when I was 12 yrs. old, from the Detroit suburbs, was visiting the Toledo Museum of Art. My 7th grade teacher took us on a field and I did not fully realize how “great” our museum was until my children visited with their classes in grade school.

  29. Brad Kaplan says:

    Everything said about the quality of the Museum is correct. But you vote TMA because of what it represents not what it is. To paraphrase Field of Dreams, “It’s all that was rigt about us and all that will be right again.” There was a time that children used the Museum as a sort of sanctuary, really poor people could drop their unsupervised kids for free while they beat the streets for work; it took the people of Toledo 20 days to match Libbey’s money who refused to have his name on the building because it belonged to the sons and daugters of Toledo. When Libbey died his wife refused to take possession of his assets so the future of the museum would be endowed. It’s a Grecian monument to a city that is a knuckle on the fist of America. Besides, they have killer chili dogs.

  30. Myrna Sanner says:

    The TMA is the best.

  31. CaroLynn Kirshner says:

    I grew up in the Cleveland area and then my family moved to Toledo – if the Museum had not been part of my life I feel I would have been without culture entirely – then I grew up and was the Executive Assistant to the Director of the Toledo Opera Association in Dayton as well. Just returned from living in Israel and am back on the East Coast but my draw to Toledo would defintely be the TMA. The trip to see all the glass is worth a morning.

  32. Holly Lemar says:

    Growing up in Toledo I can agree that as a child going to field trips it is what inspired my love of art. Even being out of the community when we visit Toledo to see family differing members of the family have ventured out to see special exibits there. The Toledo Art Museum gets my heart vote!!!!!!!!!!! And Art is about Heart after all isn’t it. Holly (Hartman) Lemar

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