The ART LOAN EXHIBITIONS were special exhibitions held in 1878, 1893, and 1894 to benefit poor relief and to stimulate interest in art in Cleveland. As in the later shows, the women who organized the 1878 exhibition appealed to both local and national collectors for the loan of works. More than 40,000 people attended the event, many on excursion trains from such points as Erie and Toledo. The Loan Assn. formed to organize the 1878 exhibition was headed by Prof. CHAS. F. OLNEY. More than 200 paintings were sent from across the U.S., and such local Cleveland patrons as Olney, CHAS. F. BRUSH, and William J. White, donated works from their collections. Schoolchildren from throughout Cleveland attended and wrote compositions on works that they might not otherwise have had the chance to see. Housed in the Garfield Bldg., the 1893 exhibition was so successful that an even larger show was planned in the same location for the following year. The 1894 exhibition was larger and included works by artists such as Claude Lorraine, Paolo Veronese, Albrecht Durer, Tintoretto, and Leonardo da Vinci. In addition, there were displays of textiles, fans, jewels, relics, curios, and statuary, as well as a public school exhibit. At $.50 a ticket ($5 for a season ticket), a large amount of money was again raised to aid the poor of Cleveland. An extensive catalog of the paintings in the exhibition was published. After 1894, no further art loan exhibitions were held, although an Art Loan Exposition was undertaken to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Cleveland School of Art in 1913.

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