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The Cleveland School

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 and temporary salesroom, the Cleveland School artists shared similarities in style and subject matter. These subjects are discussed in much more detail 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
Atchley, Whitney
Bates, Kenneth F.
Blazey, Lawrence

Blazys, Alexander
Bogatay, Paul
Conover, Claude
Cowan, R. Guy
Dyer, Nora E.
Eckhardt, Edris

Frazier, Thelma (a.k.a Thelma Winter)
Giorgi, Clement and Fern
Hall, Doris
Hunsicker, Harold W.
Kubinyi, Kalman
Lakofsky, Charles
Matzen, Hermann
McVey, Leza and William
Motto, Joseph

Murphy, Charles
Potter, Horace
Rorimer, Louis
Schreckengost, Viktor
Seaver, Elizabeth Andersen
Shaw, Elsa Vick
Sinz, Walter F.

Winter, H. Edward

© 2009 Mark Bassett
Updated 8/9/09