THE MUSEUM OF AMERICAN PORCELAIN ART located in SOUTH EUCLID was founded in 2014 by Richard A. Barone, a Cleveland investment manager, who began collecting porcelain art in the 1960’s. 

In 2004, Barone found out that prestigious porcelain studios in the United States had ceased operations. To prevent the art of American porcelain being lost or forgotten, he began assembling a collection with the intention of public display and preservation. In 2013, Barone purchased the William E. Telling Mansion on Mayfield Road for $755,000 from the CUYAHOGA COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEM to devote the space to exhibiting porcelain art. 

After three years of renovations, the MAPA opened to the public in 2019. Barone then purchased the Edward Marshall Boehm Studio, which is how the MAPA achieved its status as the largest collection of Boehm porcelains in the world. Boehm porcelains are highly regarded within the field and can be found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Vatican Museum. President Nixon presented Boehm swans to Chairman Mao as a diplomatic gift.

The collection currently includes pieces from five studios (Edward Marshall Boehm, Boleslaw Cybis, Laszlo Ispanky, Carl Irving Burgues, Bronn Fine China, Ltd.) that produced works starting in the mid-20th century. While the majority of the exhibits consist of American porcelains, Barone includes Chinese and European pieces to provide context for the larger history of porcelain art. The museum owns approximately 800 porcelains in total, but Barone also intends on expanding the collection. The prices of the most valuable pieces range from $15,000 to $35,000. Other display elements explain the process of creating porcelain, including plaster molds and pieces that guests are allowed to touch. The MAPA’s library, housed in the former bedroom of William Telling, consists of materials dedicated to porcelain and other media.

Through the Richard Barone Charitable Foundation, the MAPA is a non-profit organization. The museum is open to accepting not only support through monetary donations from MAPA members and sponsorships, but they also accept porcelain pieces to add to the collection. The MAPA is open to the public on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10AM to 1PM. Admission for $7 for adults, $5 for seniors + college students + military + first responders + educators, $3 for youth 14~17 years, and free for those under 13 years with an adult. The first Wednesday of each month is free for all. Private tours by the curator are also available; as of 2023, the curator for MAPA is the daughter of Richard Barone, Carey L. Barone.

Margaret Yuna Kim


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