fine art collection - Édouard Vuillard painting
Édouard Vuillard (French, 1868–1940). "Woman Sweeping at 346 rue Saint-Honoré," 1895. Oil on board; 33 x 50.8 cm. Promised Gift of Nancy F. and Joseph P. Keithley, 13.2020. © 2022 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

In March 2020, Clevelanders Joseph P. and Nancy F. Keithley gave and promised their private art collection of more than 100 works to the Cleveland Museum of Art, the largest gift of art to the museum since the bequest of Leonard C. Hanna Jr. in 1958. For the first time, the collection will be on view in its entirety in the CMA’s newest exhibition, “Impressionism to Modernism: The Keithley Collection” through January 8, 2023 in the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Exhibition Hall.

Vilhelm Hammershøi (Danish, 1864–1916). "Strandgade, Sunshine" painting
Vilhelm Hammershøi (Danish, 1864–1916). “Strandgade, Sunshine,” c. 1906. Oil on canvas; 50.5 x 56 cm. Promised Gift of Nancy F. and Joseph P. Keithley, 12.2020

More About the Art Collection

Throughout two decades of collecting, the Keithleys selected works to complement and enrich the CMA’s art collection. At times, the Keithleys built upon a strength in the museum’s collection; on other occasions, they acquired a work of art that would bring something entirely new to the collection. Certain works of art in the Keithleys’ gift and promised gift are shown alongside other paintings, drawings or objects from the CMA’s collection, inviting visitors to discover connections, contrasts and poetic conversations between familiar, favorite works of art and new objects from the Keithleys.

“The private collection of Joe and Nancy Keithley reflects their personal taste, aesthetic preferences, and their experiences traveling,” said William Griswold, CMA Director and President. “This exhibition will give visitors the opportunity to experience the Keithleys’ passion for collecting art, and to learn more about a collection that was initially private but now belongs to everyone.”

The Keithleys’ collection focuses on Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and modern European and American paintings. Among the highlights in Impressionism to Modernism: The Keithley Collection are five paintings by Pierre Bonnard; four each by Maurice Denis and Édouard Vuillard; two each by Milton Avery, Georges Braque, Gustave Caillebotte, Joan Mitchell and Félix Vallotton; and individual pictures of outstanding quality by Henri-Edmond Cross, Vilhelm Hammershøi, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Camille Pissarro and Andrew Wyeth.

Camille Pissarro Fishmarket painting
Camille Pissarro (French, 1830–1903). “Fishmarket,” 1902. Oil on canvas; 66 x 81.3 cm. Nancy F. and Joseph P. Keithley Collection Gift, 2020.113

Among the works on paper are six watercolors by John Marin, five drawings by Bonnard and a spectacular pastel by Eugène Boudin. Also included in the exhibition is a selection of European and American decorative arts.

The Keithleys also collected Chinese and contemporary Japanese ceramics. In the exhibition, Asian ceramics are shown alongside Western paintings and drawings to echo the harmonies created by the Keithleys, who enjoyed thoughtfully juxtaposing the works in their home.

“The Keithleys loved collecting, took great pleasure in living with their collection, and are now delighted to share their collection with others,” said Griswold. “Cleveland has such a rich history of philanthropy and the extraordinary generosity of the Keithleys epitomizes the promise made by our founders, for the benefit of all the people forever.”

Henri-Edmond Cross (French, 1856–1910). "The Pink Cloud"
Henri-Edmond Cross (French, 1856–1910). “The Pink Cloud,” c. 1896. Oil on canvas; 54.6 x 61 cm. Nancy F. and Joseph P. Keithley Collection Gift, 2020.106

Exhibition Catalogue

A lavishly illustrated 280-page catalogue accompanies The Keithley Collection exhibition and features more than 200 color illustrations and CMA Director William Griswold’s interview with the Keithleys. Entries by eminent curators and art historians from the United States and Europe shed new light on masterpieces in the Keithleys’ transformative gift and promised gift to the museum.

The Keithley Collection is published by the CMA and distributed by Yale University Press. It will be available for purchase online or at the Cleveland Museum of Art store for $65.

fine art collection - Gustave Caillebotte painting
Gustave Caillebotte (French, 1848–1894). “Chickens, Game Birds, and Hares,” c. 1882. Oil on canvas; 75.8 x 105 cm. Promised Gift of Nancy F. and Joseph P. Keithley, 10.2020

Complementary Programming

Lunchtime Lecture: CMA Backstories: Women Collectors Build Cleveland Collections Program
Leslie Cade, Director of Ingalls Library and Museum Archives
Tuesday, October 4, 2022, 12:00 p.m.
Gartner Auditorium
FREE, ticket required

The Cleveland Museum of Art is renowned for the quality and breadth of its collection. Throughout the years, the museum has relied on the expertise and generosity of benefactors, many of whom were women, to achieve this goal. In this lecture, Leslie Cade, director of Ingalls Library and Museum Archives, introduces a few of these extraordinary women, including Emery May Norweb, whose Pre-Columbian art formed the basis of the museum’s collection in that area, and India Early Minshall, an expert in Russian history and Fabergé.

The Art of Collecting
Friday, November 11, 2022, 6:00 p.m.
Gartner Auditorium
FREE, ticket required

Deputy Director and Chief Curator Heather Lemonedes Brown, curator of  Impressionism to Modernism: The Keithley Collection​, joins sneaker collector and authenticator Sadelle Moore (StockX), comic book collector Ben Joines-Mundy (Carol & John’s Comic Book Shop), and music critic and record collector Annie Zaleski (Duran Duran’s Rio) for a conversation about the passion that drives collecting.

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