Best Iconic Works Of Art In Cleveland

May 28, 2012 6:00 AM


Who thinks of going to New York City without picturing the Statue of Liberty? Big cities are known for their artwork, and Cleveland is no exception. From exhibitions featuring local and national artists to iconic images on bridges and in parks, Cleveland is home to a flurry of memorable artwork. 
freestamp Best Iconic Works Of Art In Cleveland


“Free Stamp”
Willard Park
E 9th Street and Lakeside Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106

It’s hard to talk about iconic works of art in Cleveland without mentioning the “Free Stamp” in Willard Park. This 50-foot creation by Danish artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen is an aluminum and steel replica of a common hand stamp. It was originally commissioned in 1982 by the Standard Oil Company to grace the lawn of their yet-to-be-constructed headquarters at Public Square, but was then acquired by the British Petroleum Company (BP) who took no particular liking to the piece, and ended up sitting in storage in Indiana for years. Eventually, BP donated it to the city of Cleveland, who consulted the artists as to a possible site for the monument. Oldenburg and Van Bruggen chose Willard Park to represent their theme of free speech, and the “Free Stamp” was dedicated in November of 1991.

mocacleveland Best Iconic Works Of Art In Cleveland


PULSE Exhibitions
Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland
8501 Carnegie Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 421-8671

Price: $4 Non-members, $3 Students and seniors, Free for children under 12
Hours: Tue to Sun – 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (open til 8 p.m. on Wed)

MOCA Cleveland represents an evolution in art exhibition. Founded in 1968 as The New Gallery and re-named the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art in 1984, MOCA has a way of “keeping its finger on the pulse” of the region’s constantly growing art scene. In fact, the museum’s PULSE exhibitions exist for this very purpose, constantly featuring fresh work of Northeast Ohio artists, both new and established, as well as national and international talent.

Related: Best Art Museums In Cleveland

roseironworks Best Iconic Works Of Art In Cleveland


Rose Iron Works
1536 East 43rd St.
Cleveland, OH 44103
(216) 881-6000

Price: Free
Hours: Mon to Fri – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It may be the iron mural at Cleveland Botanical Garden or the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport entrance. No matter where you are in the city, you need never look far to find some iconic piece of art by Rose Iron Works. What’s more, the company’s studio contains over 2,000 individual pieces of metalwork, all a testament to the original expertise and skill of ornamental blacksmith Martin Rose, who brought his unique taste for European design and craftsmanship to Cleveland in 1904. In addition to the museum, visitors will be delighted to find hundreds of original drawings and rare books in the studio’s vault stores, assembled by Mr. Rose.

rembrandtinamerica Best Iconic Works Of Art In Cleveland

Self-Portrait, 1659. Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606–1669). Oil on canvas; 84.5 x 66 cm. National Gallery of Art, Washington, Andrew W. Mellon Collection 1937.1.72. (Image courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington)

“Rembrandt in America”
Cleveland Museum of Art
11150 East Blvd.
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 421-7350

Price: $7 – $12
Hours: Tue, Thurs, Sat, Sun – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wed and Fri – 10 a.m. to 9 p.m

Be sure to visit the Cleveland Museum of Art before May 28 to catch “Rembrandt in America,” the first major exhibition to explore the collecting history of Rembrandt paintings in America. At only $14 for adult admission, $12 for seniors and students, $7 for children 6-17, and free for children five and under, the whole family is sure to enjoy this collection of over 50 pieces including autograph works by Rembrandt as well as many others thought to be original but which can no longer be verified. All works of art will be arranged in small groupings for close inspection by visitors, so the fine connoisseur may judge for him or herself what is and is not authentic.

Related: Best Art Fairs In Cleveland

guardianoftraffic Best Iconic Works Of Art In Cleveland

(credit: Michael Schwartz Library, Cleveland State University)

“Guardians of Traffic”
Hope Memorial Bridge
Cuyahoga River Crossing
Cleveland, OH 44106

Art deco is an eclectic artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s and grew popular on the international scene throughout the 1930s. The Hope Memorial Bridge, a 5,854 foot long art deco truss bridge that crosses the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, connects Lorain Avenue on the city’s west side and Carnegie Avenue on the east. The bridge is flanked on each end by a pair of statues known as the “Guardians of Traffic.” The Guardians were designed by sculptor Henry Hering and architect Frank Walker and are meant to symbolize progress in transportation.

But that’s not all. What are some of your own favorite pieces of local art?

Joshua Lawson is a husband to Sarah and a father to Joshua, Hope, and Allison. Once upon a time he was a halfway decent basketball player, but his dream since becoming a father has gone from playing in the NBA to one day getting a full night’s sleep again. Joshua lives in Portsmouth, OH. His work can be found at

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