The Cleveland Museum of Art announced that 2018 produced record-breaking attendance figures: 769,435 visitors, compared with 586,672 visitors in 2017.

The 2018 total eclipses the previous record set more than 30 years ago in 1987 (which featured “Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Masterpieces: The Courtauld Collection,” among others), when the museum welcomed 719,620 guests.

Last year’s featured exhibits included the landmark “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors,” which attracted more than 120,000 visitors from all 50 states and 23 countries.

In addition, the museum hosted six installations connected with the inaugural edition of “Front International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art,” as well as such other popular exhibits as “Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern” (on view through March 3), which explores the iconic artist’s life and work through her paintings and articles of her clothing, as well as photographs.

 

Art for Bombs

Visiting art history scholar Austin Porter will deliver a free talk, "Bankrolling Bombs: How Art Museums Helped Finance World War II,” from noon to 1 p.m. Friday at Kent State University’s School of Art.

All of the School of Art’s First Friday Lectures are open to the public in Room 165 at the Center for the Visual Arts, 325 Terrace Drive. Porter is an assistant professor of art history and American studies at Kenyon University.

During World War II, the U.S. government sponsored numerous exhibits in some of the nation’s most highly regarded art museums. In addition to expressing themes of patriotism, sacrifice and American military might, the exhibits also served as fundraising opportunities for the Treasury Department’s war bond program. This talk analyzes how the resulting installations blurred cultural distinctions between high art and mass media.

 

THURSDAY

Art Tour — “Brian Bress: Pictures Become You” at 6 p.m. at the Akron Art Museum, 1 S. High St. Free for members; registration is required. Join Chief Curator Ellen Rudolph in the Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Gallery for an extended look at Bress’ video paintings along with conversation about the humor, craft and philosophical aspects of the artist’s work. To register: https://bit.ly/2Ho7Q5G.

 

FRIDAY

Last Chance — “Bits & Pieces: The Illustration of Red Nose Studio” closes at 5 p.m. at the University of Akron Myers School of Art Emily Davis Gallery, 150 E. Exchange St. (Gallery hours are extended until 7 p.m. Jan. 31.) More info: https://bit.ly/2CQaRGo.

 

SATURDAY

Kids’ Studio — Toothpaste-Resist Fabric Dyeing, Cubist Style 1-3 p.m. (ages 6-10). Aspiring artists need to question, make mistakes and test ideas. Guided by a practicing studio artist-educator, students engage with contemporary art up close then funnel personal responses into inspiring “oopsies” in the studio. Caregivers welcome to participate but not required to stay. Dress for mess. $10; $5 member child. Akron Art Museum. Registration is required: https://bit.ly/2MCrkCs.

 

WORTH NOTING

Call to Artists: The Cuyahoga Valley Art Center, 2131 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls, has issued a Call to Artists for its upcoming “Human Figure Exhibition” on view Feb. 26-March 28. Participating artists must submit works related to the human figure in any medium.

Submissions will be accepted from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Feb. 22, and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 23. For more information, go to the online prospectus at https://bit.ly/2DFJgt0; 330-928-8092; www.cvart.org; office@cvartcenter.org.

 

Online art

The Cleveland Museum of Art has made images of some 30,000 works from its permanent collection that are in the public domain open access, meaning that anyone may download, share, reproduce, remix or otherwise transform the images for scholarly, commercial and noncommercial uses.

As part of this digital access project, the institution is also making additional information about more than 61,000 works from the museum’s collection available to the public. The newly digitized images and extensive metadata are available through the CMA’s revamped collections database: https://bit.ly/2B9Twbk.

 

Goya

If you want a quick primer on how Modernism in the visual arts began, a webpage written by the staff at Christie's — "10 things to know about Goya" (https://bit.ly/2RmLvF9) — is worth your time. Of course, the staff also wants you to look at what they have on auction.

 

Dorothy Shinn writes about art and architecture. Send information to her at the Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309-0640, or dtgshinn@att.net.