The term "Cleveland School" was first used by Elrick Davis in a 1928 article for the Cleveland Press, titled "Cleveland's Art Pioneers Have Put City in Front Rank in Creative Field."
According to Davis, a cohesive group of artists and craftsmen working in Northeastern Ohio and sharing a vision of art and community can be traced back to the 1870s, when a "little volunteer life class organized in A.M. Willard's studio in the attic of the Old City Hall." (Willard himself is best known as the painter of Spirit of '76.) By working in close proximity with one another, they shared ideas and techniques--particularly in such media as watercolor and ceramics.
This group--together with others interested in the arts--soon "organized the Cleveland Academy of Art. They had a program. It included foundation of a regular art school; the building of an art museum; regular series of art exhibitions; encouragement of private collectors and patrons of the arts; publication of an art magazine, and the teaching of drawing in the public schools."
Especially between 1917 and 1958, when the Cleveland
Museum of Art's annual May shows gave artists and patrons a forum
temporary salesroom, the Cleveland School artists shared similarities
style and subject matter. These subjects are discussed in much more
in Cowan Pottery and the Cleveland School.
If you have examples of "Cleveland School" arts and crafts that you are thinking of selling, please contact Mark. Not only does he collect them, he knows many other collectors too.
Some of the artists and crafts workers associated with the Cleveland School ca. 1910-1960 include:
Aitken, Russell Barnett
© 2009 Mark Bassett