Midwest Living Review
It really is impossible to overstate the amazing transformation of this University Circle attraction. Originally opened in 1916, the Cleveland Museum of Art has always been a destination for Clevelanders hungry for free culture. A series of somewhat clunky expansions over the years eventually led museum leaders to realize in 1996 that the building was not supporting the museum's changing role as an entertainment venue for families. The $350 million capital campaign, the bulk of which has been raised during a national recession, is upgrading all of the galleries and expanding the space from 400,000 square feet to 750,000 square feet. The most impressive piece to this puzzle is a soaring new atrium that is morphing onto the back of the original 1916 building. When it is complete, its 30,000 square feet will house a cafe, places to gather and shops. The newer galleries also have light-box style spaces on each end that allow natural light to flood inside and show off the museum's lovely wooded location on University Circle, which also is home to the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra and the Museum of Natural History. Throughout the project, the museum has remained open to the public, and eager docents stand ready in each gallery to answer questions and explain the stories behind the artwork. Visitors will find galleries dedicated to art from Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas in virtually every medium. You could easily spend a day here and not see it all.