In March 2020, Clevelanders Joseph P. and Nancy F. Keithley gave and promised their private collection of more than 100 works of art to the Cleveland Museum of Art
, the largest gift of art to the museum since the bequest of Leonard C. Hanna Jr. in 1958. For the first time, the collection is on view in its entirety in the CMAs newest exhibition, Impressionism to Modernism: The Keithley Collection, from September 11, 2022, to January 8, 2023 in the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Exhibition Hall.
Throughout two decades of collecting, the Keithleys selected works of art to complement and enrich the CMAs collection. At times, the Keithleys built upon a strength in the museums collection; on other occasions, they acquired a work of art that would bring something entirely new to the collection. Certain works of art in the Keithleys gift and promised gift are shown alongside other paintings, drawings or objects from the CMAs collection, inviting visitors to discover connections, contrasts and poetic conversations between familiar, favorite works of art and new objects from the Keithleys.
The private collection of Joe and Nancy Keithley reflects their personal taste, aesthetic preferences, and their experiences traveling, said William Griswold, CMA Director and President. This exhibition will give visitors the opportunity to experience the Keithleys passion for collecting art, and to learn more about a collection that was initially private but now belongs to everyone.
The Keithleys collection focuses on Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and modern European and American paintings. Among the highlights in Impressionism to Modernism: The Keithley Collection are five paintings by Pierre Bonnard; four each by Maurice Denis and Édouard Vuillard; two each by Milton Avery, Georges Braque, Gustave Caillebotte, Joan Mitchell and Félix Vallotton; and individual pictures of outstanding quality by Henri-Edmond Cross, Vilhelm Hammershøi, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Camille Pissarro and Andrew Wyeth.
Among the works on paper are six watercolors by John Marin, five drawings by Bonnard and a spectacular pastel by Eugène Boudin. Also included in the exhibition is a selection of European and American decorative arts.
The Keithleys also collected Chinese and contemporary Japanese ceramics. In the exhibition, Asian ceramics are shown alongside Western paintings and drawings to echo the harmonies created by the Keithleys, who enjoyed thoughtfully juxtaposing the works in their home.
The Keithleys loved collecting, took great pleasure in living with their collection, and are now delighted to share their collection with others, said Griswold. Cleveland has such a rich history of philanthropy and the extraordinary generosity of the Keithleys epitomizes the promise made by our founders, for the benefit of all the people forever.