Cleveland Museum of Art

Cleveland Museum of Art collection bolstered by gift worth over $100m

Article: David Styles | Image: Hens and Chickens, 1948 by Milton Avery © Nancy F. and Joseph P. Keithley Collection Gift, 2020

More than 100 artworks valued at over $100 million have been received by the Cleveland Museum of Art – the largest gift accepted by the institution since 1958.

Ohio’s Cleveland Museum of Art has revealed that more than 100 artworks including significant Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and modern paintings, drawings, and prints have been donated by Cleveland residents Joseph P. and Nancy F. Keithley.

97 of the works have come to the Museum as outright gifts, with a further 17 promised to the museum’s collection in the future. Valued at over $100 million, the donation is the largest received by the institution since the 1958 bequest of Leonard C. Hanna Jr.

Joseph P. and Nancy F. Keithley © Cleveland Museum of Art

Discussing the sizeable donation, the Museum’s director, William Griswold, stated: “It is nothing short of transformative, and it will permanently enrich our holdings – and the visitor’s experience – across the institution, from our galleries of Asian art to those dedicated to Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and the 20th century in Europe and this country.”

The gift unwrapped

The works donated by Joseph and Nancy Keithley include:

5 paintings by Pierre Bonnard
4 paintings by Maurice Denis and Edouard Vuillard
2 works by Milton Avery, Georges Braque, Gustave Caillebotte, Joan Mitchell, and Félix Valloton
Individual pieces by Henri-Edmond Cross, Vilhelm Hammershøi, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Camille Pissarro, and Andrew Wyeth

From 17th March a selection of the works will be on view in the Museum’s permanent collection galleries, with a large-scale exhibition of the Keithley gift scheduled for 2022.

Who are the Keithleys?

Nancy and Joseph Keithley are long-time supporters of the Museum, with Nancy having served as a trustee and chair of its Accessions Advisory and Collections committees. In 2013, the duo established the Keithley Institute for Art History, a collaborative programme delivered by the Museum and Case Western Reserve University to train future curators, scholars, museum directors and academic leaders.

“For Nancy and me, collecting has been a true joy, and we are delighted that these works will inspire museum visitors from Cleveland and around the world,” Joseph noted.

“Cleveland is our home and we have enjoyed building our lives here. It is important to us to share our collection with our fellow Northeast Ohioans, and we felt the Cleveland Museum of Art was a perfect home for the works of art we have assembled, cherished, and now joyfully make available to all,” Mrs Keithley added.