Back to University Circle, Cleveland, OH

Trip Start May 06, 2010
Trip End Oct 14, 2010

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Where I stayed
Econo Lodge -Toledo

Flag of United States  , Ohio
Saturday, May 29, 2010

Today I checked out of my hotel near Cleveland and then went to the University Circle neighborhood, again, to go to the Cleveland Museum of Art.  The museum is next to the Cleveland Botanical Garden, which is just a block from the Peter Lewis Building, which is just a few blocks from the Lake View Cemetery.  I've spent most of my time in Cleveland in the same small neighborhood.  I don't know what the rest of Cleveland is like but I like that part of it.

The first surprise was that the museum is free.  I'm used to that in Washington with the Smithsonian and the National Gallery but I didn't expect it in Cleveland.  Another surprise is that the museum is currently undergoing an expansion project that will add about 50% more total space and about a third more gallery space.  It looks like it's going to be a very nice facility when they're done. 

I'm not sure how much of their collection is currently on view but I was impressed with what I saw.  I liked their decorative arts collection.  They have many Faberge pieces including an Imperial Easter egg, a copy of the Art Deco icon Jazz Bowl by Viktor Schreckengost and a lot of American and European furniture from the 1700 and 1800's.  They have some nice modern art including an interesting Dali called The Dream, a nice Miro called Nocturne and a number of cubist pieces by Picasso, Braque and Leger and quite a few impressionist pieces.

My next stop was the Cleveland Botanical Gardens.  I saw the Paley gate from the outside yesterday.  Today I went in.  I didn't have a lot of time so I didn't even go back to my car and get my camera, although there were quite a few things I would have liked to photograph.  They have a greenhouse with sections for the deserts of Madagascar and the rainforests of Costa Rica.  One unusual thing in the rainforest section was a leaf-cutter ant colony.  There were lines of ants carrying pieces of leaves back to their log where they keep a fungal colony.  They feed the leaves to the fungus, which the ants then eat.

My favorite parts of their outdoor gardens were the Japanese Garden and the Herb Garden, which they claim is "one of the finest public herb gardens anywhere."  I'm always suspicious of claims like that but it's one of the best I've seen.

I then drove to Toledo.  Tomorrow I'm going to go to the Toledo Museum of Art and the Center for the Visual Arts, another Frank Gehry building, before driving to Cave City, KY near Mammoth Cave National Park.

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