THE EDUCATION ART COLLECTION located in Cleveland was founded in 1914 in anticipation for the opening of the CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART. Initially titled the “Extensions Collection,” the initial purpose of the EAC was to serve as a portable microcosm of the CMA and invite people to visit. FREDERIC ALLEN WHITING – the founding director of the CMA – launched the EAC as part of his initiative for educating the general public. Whiting hired Emily G. Gibson as the first curator of the EAC. Before the discontinuation of the extensions program in 1992, curators had installed more than 32,000 exhibitions around the local areas such as CLEVELAND PUBLIC LIBRARY fronts and KARAMU HOUSE

Today, the EAC consists of about 10,000 authentic objects that span over 5,000 years of history. Since the original audience was children, the collection contains pieces that are in sound condition for handling. The majority of the collection originates from the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe. With supervision by museum staff, people of all ages can touch and hold objects such as ancient Egyptian shabtis or Japanese Noh theatre masks. 

Although the EAC catalog is not currently available for viewing on the CMA’s online collection, those who are interested in experiencing the EAA can do so through pop-up Art Carts in the CMA’s atrium. Educational programs are available through the form of Art-to-Go, during which museum staff members transport EAC objects to locations such as classrooms or libraries. Currently, an exhibit featuring the EAC is open for museum visitors to view in the Lower Level lobby.

Margaret Yuna Kim


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