Situated in the Old West End neighborhood of Toledo, Ohio, the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) is an internationally-known art museum that has been educating visitors for nearly a century. Housed mostly in a large Greek revival building that was designed by architects Edward B. Green and Harry W. Wachter, this museum owns an impressive collection of works that span several centuries.
The Toledo Museum of Art was founded in 1901 by local glassmaker Edward Drummond Libbey and several other entrepreneurs who envisioned the mission of TMA as a place that would enhance the community with art and art education. The 36 acres of building space that make up the museum have grown to house about 30,000 works of art. In addition, TMA now owns seven buildings including those that house a resource center and reference library.
There are a total of 35 galleries in the main building as well as a sculpture garden, and the newest addition to the museum, The Glass Pavilion. Sections of the museum include the African Collection, which features a growing assemblage of sub-Saharan art including masks, figure, dolls, altar pieces, and more from places like Nigeria, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast; a small Ancient section, which includes works from the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, and Rome including Roman portrait busts and ornate Greek vases; an Asian gallery with examples of the arts of China, Korea, Japan, India, and Southeast Asia, and the Near and Middle East like bronzes, porcelain, and woodcuts and scrolls; and an extensive European Art area, that features painting and sculpture from medieval times to post-Impressionism, with works by such greats as Delacroix, Manet, Pissarro, Monet, Renoir, C,zanne, Gauguin, van Gogh, Degas, and Vuillard.
Other galleries include American Art from 1700-1900, which features a variety of styles from Colonial portraiture to 19th century landscapes and represents artists like John Singleton Copley, Raphael Peale, Thomas Cole, Jasper Francis Cropsey, Sanford Robinson Gifford, Winslow Homer, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Frederick Remington, and George Bellows; a Modern and Contemporary Gallery with works from the early 20th century and onward; a Decorative Arts area, which includes jewelry, furniture, tapestries, glass and tableware, and more by designers like Chippendale, Tiffany, and Frank Gehry; and a Works on Paper section, which features 10,000 works of art on paper including prints, photographs, books, watercolors, and pastels spanning centuries.
One of the most impressive glass collections in the United States can be found in the Toledo Museum of Art's Glass Pavilion, opened in 2006 and starkly different from the rest of the museum. The works of art here represent ancient Mediterranean; Islamic; European Renaissance, Baroque, and Rococco; American and European 19th century; and modern and contemporary glass, including several pieces by renowned contemporary artist Dale Chihuly.
Education is also at the center of TMA's mission. The museum's Family Center provides themed activities for children and their caregivers on an ongoing basis. Art classes for all ages and skill levels are offered year round. Demonstrations, live music, and other special events are regular occurrences at the museum as well.
The Toledo Museum of Art is open from Tuesday though Sunday and admission is free at all times. Individuals may join a museum docent for a free tour, offered several times each day. Fees apply to group tours. The onsite Museum Caf, offers beverage and snack service as well as a full menu during certain hours of the day.