Annual Fund gifts to the Cleveland Museum of Art provide vital operating support to the areas of greatest need. With your donation, you are making an investment that impacts the museum in countless ways. Gifts to the Annual Fund provide the museum with important unrestricted operating support for our programs, exhibitions, and conservation of the collection.
With your support, each year, the museum is able to:
- Offer school tours to 78,488 children
- Produce a variety of on- and off-site educational programs for over 230,000 participants
- Entertain 78,228 spectators at Parade the Circle
- Engage 18,264 attendees during live performance and film programs
- Add 12,074 items to the museum’s Ingalls Library collection
- Provide free admission for 318,515 museum visitors
If you are considering a gift of $250 or more, you may wish to participate in the Circles Program. Gifts of $250 or more will be recognized in the philanthropy issue of Cleveland Art members magazine.
William E. Ward
Born in Cleveland in 1922 to Edward and Lura D. Ward and educated at the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA), Western Reserve University (B.S., 1947; M.A., 1948) and Columbia University (additional graduate work, 1950), William Ward was a talented painter, photographer, lecturer and calligrapher. Introduced to the cultures of Ceylon, India and Japan during a four-year stint with U.S. Army Terrain Intelligence (1942–45), he became a master of calligraphy and taught that subject at CIA, beginning in 1960. (Ward himself had first studied art at West Technical High School under the legendary Paul and Jean Ulen, later with a Buddhist teacher in Ceylon and calligraphy at CIA with the great Otto Egge.) He was hired by Sherman Lee’s predecessor, William M. Milliken, to work under CMA education director Thomas Munro in 1939 and resumed his position at the museum after the war. It was Milliken's successor, Sherman Lee, the museum’s former curator of oriental art, who recognized Ward’s potential as a designer.
Working closely with three directors and their teams of curators, Mr. Ward worked his magic on widely differing assignments—from Barbizon Revisited, a memorable Paul Klee retrospective, and The Private World of John Singer Sargent to Chinese Art Under the Mongols, Old Master Drawings, and the treasures of Amenhotep III. Ward supervised the lighting and designed the publicity, even the place cards for the press luncheon.
Ward also created the museum’s first logo back in 1959 at the request of the museum’s director Sherman Lee and contributed a great deal more than that to our visual encounter with a world-class art museum—and the art it displayed— in the three-and-a-half decades between 1957 and his retirement in 1993 as the museum’s chief designer. During that time Bill Ward was also responsible for the layout and presentation of the paintings and other objects that fill CMA’s permanent galleries (including lighting, display groupings and custom-designed pedestals) and the installation of traveling and special shows.
Throughout the years Mr. Ward created his own holiday cards, sending one each year to the director. His and many other cards sent by staff, local artists, and important leaders in Cleveland, represent just one collection in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s archives. Taken together, the archives’ holdings constitute the museum’s history and, by extension, an important chapter in our community’s history.
At this time each year, we ask our many museum friends to make a gift beyond membership to the Annual Fund. These gifts impact the museum in countless ways and ensure that the museum remains a center for culture, an engine for Northeast Ohio's economy, a magnet for scholars, and an inspiration for the soul forever.