The Akron Art Museum marked its 100 year anniversary on February 1, 2022. The Museum will commemorate its centennial year with a two-year-long celebration lasting through 2023. In addition, public events will be held at the Museum in honor of the anniversary, such as a special centennial wine auction, a live-action mystery game set in 1922, and a community block party. As the organization celebrates 100 years of art and people, it will remain committed to celebrating the past and building a strong future.
“It is truly a privilege to lead this wonderful organization at the dawning of its centennial,” Jon Fiume, John S. Knight Director and CEO, said. “Throughout its history, the Museum’s resiliency, determination, and commitment to the community have been a driving force behind its successes. I look forward to the future as the Museum continues to carry out its mission of inviting all people to enrich their lives through modern and contemporary art for the next 100 years.”
Celebrating the Past
In 1922, the Akron Art Institute originated as a space for art instruction and exhibitions, functioning mostly in borrowed spaces. At the time, the small collection included only fine art and archaeological items. After a disastrous fire destroyed the Museum’s building and much of the collection in 1941, the staff shifted its focus to fine art and design. In the mid-1960s, the Museum refined its mission to exhibiting and collecting art produced from 1850 to the present. The name changed to the “Akron Art Museum” in October of 1980 further refining the mission of collecting modern and contemporary art. Over the years, the Museum’s collection has grown tremendously. Today, it includes over 7,000 works and has a strong focus on modern and contemporary painting, sculpture, and photography. The Museum’s history comes with many successes and challenges that the organization is committed to learning from and applying to the future.
Building a Strong Future
The Museum’s goal is to build on the foundation laid in the organization’s history and continue to grow as an art museum that is committed to its core values. Over the next two years, the Museum will focus on three main objectives: celebrating together, creating renewed and welcoming spaces for the public, and remaining committed to the community. To accomplish this, the Museum will continue to extend operating hours on the second Friday of every month and hold special events to celebrate the centennial. Additionally, visitors are invited to explore the updated collection galleries and studio spaces. With a continued focus on Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion, the Museum will increase accessibility in the building, and convene the Community Advisory Council. In addition, the Museum has released a new centennial logo with colors that signify the future of the organization as a visual commemoration.