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Cat Prints in the Collection

Artists have long been inspired the elegance, independence, curiosity, and comfort-seeking of domestic cats. A clowder of cats from the collection, prints that are rarely on view, offer a glimpse of artists’ relationships with cats as their muses and companions.

The Cats, 1868-1869. Edouard Manet (French, 1832-1883), etching, Sheet: 32.4 x 45.4 cm (12 3/4 x 17 13/16 in); Platemark: 17.3 x 21.5 cm (6 3/4 x 8 7/16 in). Gift of Ralph King 1922.195

An etching by Manet explores the graceful movement of at least two cats. This sensitive treatment of the feline form is catastic!

The Cat, 1900s. Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson (British, 1889-1946), aquatint and etching, Sheet: 40.1 x 25.5 cm (15 3/4 x 10 in); Platemark: 17.6 x 13.6 cm (6 7/8 x 5 5/16 in). Gift of Mrs. Malcolm L. McBride 1948.433

Feline aficionados will recognize a familiar scene in this print—a solitary cat quietly gazing out a window at the forbidden landscape they will never explore.

Two Cats, 1915. Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (German, 1884-1976) woodcut, Sheet: 47.6 x 57.2 cm (18 11/16 x 22 1/2 in); Image: 39.7 x 49.8 cm (15 5/8 x 19 9/16 in). Gift of The Print Club of Cleveland 1954.355 © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Two playful cats with attitude are the subject of this woodcut by Schmidt-Rotluff. Their mischievousness is evident as one appears to sniff (or bite!) the other.

The Cat, 1932. Elbridge Gerry Peirce (American, 1900-) drypoint, Sheet: 23 x 27.8 cm (9 x 10 15/16 in); Image: 16.1 x 20.8 cm (6 5/16 x 8 3/16 in). Gift of the Artist 1934.321

This evocative print reveals the serene countenance of a relaxed kitty on a comfy bed. Look familiar?

Steady Gaze: Two Cats, 1952. Kiyoshi Saito (Japanese, 1907-1997) color woodcut. The Kelvin Smith Collection, given by Mrs. Kelvin Smith 1985.405

A curious cat duo is featured in this print—their wide eyes, upturned noses, and elongated poses suggest something special has captured their attention. 

Since these works on paper are not on view, enjoy them here – just in time for Caturday!

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Guest Author

Wienke, Lori

The Cleveland Museum of Art

Lori leads the interpretation team in the development and implementation of interpretation initiatives for the permanent collection and special exhibitions. She holds a MA in Art History and Museum Studies from Case Western Reserve University and a MLIS from San Jose State University.

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