Columbus Museum of Art

The Columbus Museum of Art (CMA) is an art museum in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Formed in 1878 as the Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts (its name until 1978),[2] it was the first art museum to register its charter with the state of Ohio. The museum collects and exhibits American and European modern and contemporary art, folk art, glass art, and photography. The museum has been led since 2003 by Executive Director Nannette Maciejunes.

Columbus Museum of Art
CMA logo.png
Columbus Museum of Art.jpg
Former nameColumbus Gallery of Fine Arts
Location480 E. Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
United States
TypeArt museum
Executive directorNannette V. Maciejunes
Public transit accessLocal transit COTA 10 E/W Broad
Bike transport CoGo
Interactive map
Coordinates39°57′51.534″N 82°59′16.415″W / 39.96431500°N 82.98789306°W / 39.96431500; -82.98789306Coordinates: 39°57′51.534″N 82°59′16.415″W / 39.96431500°N 82.98789306°W / 39.96431500; -82.98789306
AreaUnder 1 acre (0.40 ha)
ArchitectRichards, McCarty and Bulford; Robert Aitken
Architectural style(s)Second Renaissance Revival
Visitors200,000 (in 2015)[1]
DesignatedMarch 19, 1992
Reference no.92000173


Originally housed in the Sessions Mansion, the current building was built on the same site from 1929 to 1931, opening on January 22, 1931. In 1974, a visually unobtrusive structure was added to the rear of the building.[3] The museum building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 19, 1992, under its original name.[4]

The Columbus Museum of Art began a massive reconstruction and expansion in 2007. The first new space opened on January 1, 2011, after 13-months of construction. The space, called the Center for Creativity, is an 18,000 sq ft (1,700 m2) space that includes galleries, gathering areas, and places for workshops that allow visitors to engage in hands-on activities. On October 25, 2015, the new Margaret M. Walter wing opened to the public, adding 50,000 square feet of addition and 40,000 square feet of major renovation to the Museum.[5] The Margaret M. Walter Wing was designed by Michael Bongiorno, AIA of the Columbus-based architecture firm DesignGroup.[citation needed]

Building layout and architectureEdit

The 1931 museum building was designed in the Second Renaissance Revival style by Columbus architects Richards, McCarty and Bulford. It has a concrete foundation, walls of limestone and concrete, and a truncated copper hipped roof. The building is horizontal, two stories high, and has a central structure advanced several feet in front of its two wings. The wings feature large limestone friezes, together known as The Frederick W. Schumacher Frieze or Masters of Art. The work, by Robert Ingersoll Aitken, depicts 68 artists from 490 B.C. to 1925 A.D.[3]

The original main entryway consists of three arched portals to the interior. The facade here includes decorative moldings, keystones, bulls-eye medallions, and stone quoins. A frieze hung above the arches, with the name "Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts". A set of sixteen limestone steps leads to the sidewalk, flanked by two Italian-style lamp posts.[3]

The Center for Creativity, on the first floor of the museum, includes a Creativity Lounge, The Studio, The Wonder Room, the Big Idea Gallery, and an Open Gallery.[citation needed]


The permanent collection includes outstanding late nineteenth and early twentieth-century American and European modern works of art. Major collections include the Ferdinand Howald Collection of early Modernist paintings, the Sirak Collection of Impressionist and Expressionist works, the Photo League Collection, and the Philip and Suzanne Schiller Collection of American Social Commentary Art. The Museum houses the largest collections of works by Columbus born artists Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson, Elijah Pierce, and George Bellows.

Highlights include early Cubist paintings by Pablo Picasso and Juan Gris, works by François Boucher, Paul Cézanne, Mary Cassatt, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Edward Hopper, and Norman Rockwell, and installations by Mel Chin, Josiah McElheny, Susan Philipsz, and Allan Sekula.

Selections from the permanent collectionEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ Museum chronology
  3. ^ a b c
  4. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  5. ^ Gilson, Nancy (31 August 2015). "Columbus Museum of Art names new wing in honor of benefactors". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 1 November 2015.

External linksEdit