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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

HENNING, EDWARD BURK

HENNING, EDWARD BURK

HENNING, EDWARD BURK (23 Oct. 1922 - 18 Apr. 1993) was an art historian and chief curator of modern art at THE CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART who expanded the collection by acquiring important works by modern artists.

Born in Cleveland to Marguerite and William (stepfather) Henning, Edward graduated from West Technical High School, was a stained glass apprentice, then served in the Army during WORLD WAR II. Henning studied art at WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY (B.S. 1949, M.S. 1952), THE CLEVELAND INSTITUTE OF ART (Certificate 1949), and Academie Julian, Paris (1949-1950).

Henning was an art teacher in the CLEVELAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS (1950-1952) before joining the museum's education department as an instructor (1952-1955). Henning was assistant curator of education (1955-1956), associate curator (1956-1959), and guest lecturer/adjunct professor in art history, Western Reserve University (1958-1984). In 1959 Henning was named assistant to museum director Sherman E. Lee.

Henning became the museum's first curator of contemporary art in 1962. In 1972 when modern art replaced contemporary Henning became curator and, in 1979, chief curator. Henning acquired the works of modern masters including Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Isamu Noguchi. He organized exhibitions and wrote books for major shows.

Henning advised private collectors, corporations and judged numerous art shows. He supervised the May Show until 1973 and served on the Art Advisory Panel to the Internal Revenue Service. Retiring in 1985 Henning continued working as a research curator, cataloguing the museums's modern art collection. Henning also headed the museum's film program until 1986.

Henning married Margaret Revacko on 31 Dec. 1942. They had three children, Eric, Lisa and Geoffrey. Henning died in CLEVELAND HEIGHTS and was cremated.