The Cleveland Museum of Art was founded in 1913 “for the benefit of all the people forever.”
The museum opened on June 6, 1916, after many years of planning.The original neoclassic building of white Georgian marble was designed by the Cleveland firm of Hubbell & Benes and was constructed at a cost of $1.25 million. Located north of the Wade Lagoon, it forms the focus of the city’s Fine Arts Garden.Frederic Allen Whiting was the museum’s first director from 1913 to 1930. Under his leadership, the museum established the education department and a wide variety of programs for children and adults. In 1919 the first “Annual Exhibition of Cleveland Artists & Craftsmen” was held. This exhibition soon became known as the May Show, and continued to showcase local artists for 73 years.