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Digital Collections: May Show

About May Show Digital Collections

About the May Show

The May Show was a juried exhibition of local artists held at the Cleveland Museum of Art from 1919 to 1993. For almost 75 years the May Show served as a forum for highlighting the vitality, creativity, and variety of the arts of Cleveland and the Western Reserve. The first director of The Cleveland Museum of Art, Frederic Allen Whiting, championed craftsmanship and the support of local artists. In a January 6, 1914 report to the Board of Trustees, Whiting recommended the establishment of "an annual exhibition of Ohio born or trained artists, to be managed by a Jury and hanging committee chosen by the exhibiting artists." Influenced by Whiting's vision, The Cleveland Art Association exhibited the works of local artists in their Fifth Spring Exhibition, held at the Cleveland Museum of Art. The museum officially stepped in and organized the First Annual Exhibition of Artists in 1919. The Cleveland Art Association remained a supporter in subsequent years.

May Show Gallery