1 S. High St.
Akron Ohio 44308United States
Free on first sunday of each month
A 2007 renovation means three times the space for a small but well-curated collection of Ohio artists and challenging modern works.
The Akron Art Museum tripled in size in 2007, and it grew with style. A winglike glass roof shoots off the new all-glass addition and rests atop the original brick structure -- an old post office -- that has housed the museum since 1980. The effect is jarring, striking ... and unmistakable. If the museum directors wanted to shake things up and make people notice, they've achieved their goal. The museum focuses on art from 1850 to the present, and for a small museum in a small city, it offers some impressive pieces that all seem thoughtfully chosen. The original building showcases the 1850-1950 collection and highlights Ohio-based artists such as William Sommer. This old section is properly traditional, with art in gilded frames, richly colored walls and copious crown molding. In the addition, sleek wood floors and white walls set the stage for the collection of modern art, which includes Warhol prints, a floor-to-ceiling Chuck Close portrait and other large-scale pieces. Various rotating exhibits also have a place; during our visit, the museum was showing The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection. One museum in each state was chosen to receive 50 pieces from the collection, and Akron was chosen for Ohio. We think that says a lot about the caliber of this museum. Admission is charged, except for on the first Sunday of the month, when admission is free.