CMA Online: Home is Where the Art Is

Cleveland Museum of Art’s ArtLens collection wall.

The Cleveland Museum of Art’s strategic plan Making Art Matter: A Strategic Framework for Our Second Century (2017) distills the myriad elements of a museum experience into three essentials: Art, Place, and Audience. Collectively, the three activate engagement, inspire wonder, and advance the CMA’s mission to “create transformative experiences through art, for the benefit of all the people forever.” What changed dramatically in March 2020 was the “Place” where “Art” and “Audience” come together.

During the museum’s temporary closure, our place is a virtual one. Our multifaceted digital approach to serving the community is Home Is Where the Art Is. With this online initiative, not only do we assert the power of the arts to promote connections, inspire joy, and so much more, but we acknowledge that individuals throughout our local community—and around the world—cherish this museum’s permanent collection and will draw great comfort, and even strength, from its sustained presence in their lives.

The museum’s digital offerings are expanding daily and presently include:

  • Collection Online, which enables users to access more than 61,000 artwork records and to explore high-resolution images, videos, and metadata including provenance, exhibition history, and citations.
  • ArtLens App facilitates digital exploration of the CMA’s galleries from any smartphone or tablet. The ArtLens App is free to download. Users can browse through a curated list of tours created by the CMA or choose favorite works of art to create and share their own tours.
  • Open Access allows users to collaborate, remix, and reuse images of 30,000 public-domain artworks from the CMA’s collection for commercial and non-commercial purposes.
  • Digital Archives features audio and visual recordings of past museum programs and events, oral histories, and preliminary renderings of works in the CMA collection.
  • Video Series shares current insights of CMA curators and other museum professionals on exhibitions, artworks, and programs scheduled during the time CMA is temporarily closed.
  • Blog: CMA Thinker offers deep-dive pieces on a single artwork written by curators, glimpses behind the scenes with conservators, and more.
  • Social Media provides updates and deep dives into museum content via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

During the museum’s closure, the CMA staff continue to prepare exhibitions and programming for the community to enjoy when it is declared safe to gather in the galleries again. In the meantime, the commitment to bringing the best art in the world to people in Ohio and beyond is as strong as ever.


11150 East Boulevard

Cleveland, Ohio 44106