Toledo Museum of Art

Toledo Museum of Art
Established 1901
Location 2445 Monroe Street
Toledo, Ohio
Type Art museum
Director Brian P. Kennedy

The Toledo Museum of Art is an internationally known art museum located in the Old West End neighborhood of Toledo, Ohio, United States. It houses a collection of more than 30,000 objects.[1] The museum was founded by Toledo glassmaker Edward Drummond Libbey in 1901, and moved to its current location, a Greek revival building designed by Edward B. Green and Harry W. Wachter, in 1912.[2] The main building was expanded twice, in the 1920s and 1930s.[3] Additional buildings were added in the 1990s and 2006.


The museum contains major collections of glass art and of 19th and 20th century European and American art, as well as small but distinguished Renaissance, Greek, Roman and Japanese collections. Notable individual works include Peter Paul Rubens's The Crowning of Saint Catherine, Fragonard's Blind Man's Bluff, Vincent van Gogh's Houses at Auvers, significant minor works by Rembrandt and El Greco, and modern works by Willem de Kooning, Henry Moore and Sol LeWitt. Other artists in the permanent collection include Holbein, Cole, Cropsey, Turner, Tissot, Degas, Monet, Cézanne, Matisse, Miró, Picasso, Calder, Bearden, Close, and Kiefer.

The Crowning of Saint Catherine

The Rubens painting, The Crowning of Saint Catherine, was bought by the Toledo Museum of Art from Albert Koppel in 1950.[4] Rubens had originally painted it for the church of the Augustinians in Mechelen (Malines) where it was installed in 1631. In the eighteenth century the church authorities sold it to a dealer and in 1779 it was purchased by the 5th Duke of Rutland. It remained as part of the Rutland estate until 1911 when the 8th Duke of Rutland sold it to the German-Jewish banker and science entrepreneur Leopold Koppel. On Koppel's death in 1933 it was illegally appropriated by senior Nazi Hermann Göring for his private collection. At the end of World War II it was discovered by American troops in a salt mine and was eventually reclaimed, with several other paintings, by Albert Koppel, Leopold's son.


The Peristyle, a concert hall within the east wing, is built in a classical style to match the museum's exterior. The hall is the principal concert space for the Toledo Symphony Orchestra and hosts the Museum's Masters series. A sculpture garden, containing primarily postwar works was added in 2001 and runs in a narrow band along the museum's Monroe Street facade (earlier sculptures are on display in the interior).

The 1,750-seat Peristyle was part of the 1933 expansion. Seating is divided into floor and riser seating, with the riser seating arranged in a half-circle, similar to a Greek theater. At the back of the riser seating are 28 Ionic columns that give the concert hall its name.

Center for the Visual Arts and the Glass Pavilion

Toledo Glass Pavilion
Interior of the Glass Pavilion

A Center for the Visual Arts, designed by Frank Gehry, was added in the 1990s. It includes the museum's library as well as studio, office, and classroom space for the art department of the University of Toledo.

In 2000, the architectural firm of SANAA was chosen to design a new building to house the museum's glass collection; it was the firm's first commission in the United States. Front Inc.[5] was appointed to assist the architects in developing technical concepts for the glass wall systems. The Glass Pavilion opened in August 2006 to considerable critical acclaim; in his review for The New York Times, Nicolai Ouroussoff said, "Composed with exquisite delicacy, the pavilion's elegant maze of curved glass walls represents the latest monument to evolve in a chain extending back to the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles." Ouroussoff commented on the pavilion's relationship with the museum's other buildings:

The Glass Pavilion is part of a loosely knit complex that includes the Beaux-Arts-style art museum here and the University of Toledo’s Center for the Visual Arts, designed by Frank Gehry. With its grand staircase leading up to a row of Ionic columns, the original museum is both a temple to art and a monument to the belief in high culture’s ability to uplift the life of the worker. The new structure’s low, horizontal form, fits in this context with remarkable delicacy, as if the architects hesitated to disturb the surroundings.

The building's curved glass walls were imported entirely from China.[6] The building showcases the museum's original glass collection in addition to several new works, including one prominent glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly. The Glass Pavilion is made possible through the largest public fundraising drive in Toledo's history.

Brian Kennedy serves as the museum's ninth director, beginning in 2010.[1]



  1. 1 2 "About". Toledo Museum of Art.
  2. "Historic Date Observed Jan. 17 at Toledo Museum of Art" (PDF). The Toledo Museum of Art. January 5, 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2012. The Museum's iconic building [] at 2445 Monroe St. opened to the public for the first time [] on Jan. 17, 1912.
  3. Putney, Richard: "Medieval Art, Medieval People", pages 5-7. Toledo Museum of Art, 2002.
  4. "The Crowning of Saint Catherine". Toledo Museum of Art. Retrieved Jan 12, 2016.
  5. Front Inc. – official website
  6. Areddy, James T. (August 29, 2010). "In Toledo, the 'Glass City,' New Label: Made in China -". Retrieved 2012-09-08.


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Coordinates: 41°39′29″N 83°33′34″W / 41.65806°N 83.55944°W / 41.65806; -83.55944

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