Two New Exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art to Check Out

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1) Opening this Sunday Dec. 14, the Cleveland Museum of Art’s latest exhibition, Constructed Identities, primarily uses photography from its own collection to examine the medium’s ability to create identities – both real and fictional.

Highlights include Andy Warhol’s Little Red Notebook with Polaroid photos of Mick Jagger being Mick Jagger, Henri Cartier-Bresson’s intimate portrayal of the family life of Robert F. Kennedy, as well as Patrick Nagatani’s 50-part visual chronicle of Zen monk Ryoichi’s archeological expeditions leading to the discovery of time travel.



Constructed Identities is free and open to the public, and runs through Apr. 26.

2) Jacob Lawrence is widely considered one of the most accomplished African American artists of the 20th century. The Cleveland Museum of Art is currently exhibiting 41 tempera paintings created in just one year, 1938 – when the artist was just 20 years old. Additionally, from 1986 until 1997, Lawrence referenced key images from the original series in 15 silk-screen prints. Both the paintings and prints are currently on view at the CMA as part of the exhibition.



This Friday evening, Patricia Hills, Professor Emerita of Art History at Boston University, will discuss Lawrence’s agenda in the series, The Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture. The series tells the story of a man born a slave, but who played a critical role in the Haitian Revolution. Eventually, he was captured by troops of Napoleon and died in a French prison. The exhibition and lecture coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Haitian Revolution.

“Jacob Lawrence was like a screenwriter, in that he emphasized, condensed or omitted narrative details in order to underscore his overriding message,” explains Mark Cole, curator of American Paintings and Sculpture at the CMA. “In his view, Toussaint’s prominent roles in commandeering the Haitian Revolution and drafting the country’s new constitution epitomized the ability of an authoritative individual to bring about major social change.”

Both the exhibition and lecture are free and open to the public. The lecture takes place in the CMA’s Recital Hall this Friday Dec. 12 at 7 p.m., and the exhibition runs through Sunday Jan 4.



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