Work by Mid-20th Century Cleveland Artist Couple Goes on View at Cleveland History Center

Sat 11/16

 The art scene in northeast Ohio was a very different place 80 years ago when Thelma Frazier and Edward Winter, both graduates of, and instructors at, the Cleveland Art School (which evolved into the Cleveland Institute of Art), got married and became a sort of “power couple” in the area’s art scene.

Given all the progressive movements and overturning of old ideas about art that have ensued in the last 80 years, it’s possible to review their work as a little dated, a little craftsy. But without that veil, one can see the level of their accomplishment in their respective media, he in enamels, she in ceramics. When the Cleveland History Center at the Western Reserve Historical Society opens Breaking the Mold: The Art of Thelma & Edward Winter, art lovers will have a chance to immerse themselves in the two artists’ work and appreciate them on their own terms.

Winter’s life-sized enamels, created in the huge furnaces of Ferro Enamel Corp, feature intricate details, vivid colors and layering. Frazier’s ceramic work was extremely diverse, winning her more than 30 prizes at the Cleveland Museum of Art’s former May Show for local artists — some decorative, some whimsical, some even featuring cats!

“In the past few years the crafts, particularly those which have come to be considered peculiarly native Cleveland products: ceramics and enamels, have taken a place of equal importance with the earlier maturing painting and sculpture,” said William Milliken, director of the Cleveland Museum of Art in 1941.

The show opens on Sat 11/16 and will be on view through August 2, 2020. It’s included with admission to WRHS: $12 for adults, $10 for seniors over 65 and college students with ID, $6 for kids 3-12. That includes two rides on the Euclid Beach carousel!


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