Akron, Ohio may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about art museums, but this city in the heart of the Midwest has a surprisingly rich artistic heritage. From contemporary galleries to historic collections, Akron's art museums offer a diverse and fascinating glimpse into the world of art.
The Oldest Piece of Artwork in Akron's MuseumsWhen it comes to the oldest piece of artwork in an art museum in Akron, Ohio, there is one clear winner - the Akron Art Museum. Founded in 1922 as the Akron Art Institute, this museum has a long and storied history that spans almost a century. The oldest piece of artwork in the Akron Art Museum's collection is a painting by American artist John Singer Sargent titled "Mrs. Henry White." This oil on canvas portrait was painted in 1883 and is a stunning example of Sargent's skill as a portraitist.
The painting was donated to the museum in 1923 by Edwin C. Shaw, a prominent Akron businessman and philanthropist. While "Mrs. Henry White" may be the oldest piece of artwork in the Akron Art Museum, it is by no means the only noteworthy piece in their collection. The museum boasts an impressive collection of over 5,000 works of art, including pieces by renowned artists such as Andy Warhol, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Salvador Dali.
The Akron Art Museum's ExpansionIn 2007, the Akron Art Museum underwent a major expansion that doubled its size and added a striking new building designed by renowned architect Coop Himmelb(l)au.
This expansion allowed for more space to display their growing collection and also included a new education center, auditorium, and outdoor sculpture garden. One of the most notable additions to the museum's collection during this expansion was a large-scale installation by artist James Turrell titled "Skyspace." This immersive artwork invites visitors to experience the changing colors of the sky through a large aperture in the ceiling, creating a unique and meditative experience.
Other Art Museums in AkronWhile the Akron Art Museum may have the oldest piece of artwork in an art museum in Akron, it is not the only museum in the city with a rich artistic history. The Akron Museum of Art, founded in 1922, is another notable institution that showcases a diverse collection of contemporary art. The Akron Museum of Art's collection includes works by local artists as well as pieces by internationally recognized artists such as Kehinde Wiley and Yayoi Kusama. The museum also hosts rotating exhibitions and educational programs for all ages. Another must-visit art museum in Akron is the Emily Davis Gallery at the University of Akron. This gallery, located on the university's campus, features exhibitions by students, faculty, and visiting artists.
It also serves as a teaching space for students studying art and design.