The Toledo Museum of Art has earned a global reputation for the quality of its collection. More than 30,000 works of art represent American and European painting, the history of art in glass, ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian works, Asian and African art, medieval art, sculpture, decorative arts, and modern contemporary art.
The Peristyle Theater
The Museum houses the Peristyle Theater, a splendid concert hall which will be the venue for keynote lectures during the visual literacy conference.
As part of the Museum’s 1933 expansion including new East and West wings, architect Edward B. Green designed the Peristyle Theater.
A classical concert hall whose name means “an area surrounded by columns,” the Peristyle’s most distinguishing architectural feature is a curving row of 28 Ionic columns which surround the main seating area, arranged in tiers reminiscent of theaters of ancient Greece. Inspired by a Greek agora, the two-story Peristyle lobby is animated by a painted Greek frieze.
The Peristyle seats 1,750 and was designed with an innovative suspended acoustical ceiling that appears to be open to the sky. Along with house lights that can change from the light of day to the deep blue sky of evening, the theater was engineered to be as acoustically perfect as possible, resulting in a space that provides a marvelous concert experience.
Peristyle Light Board
To carry out the illusion of being out-of-doors, an elaborate lighting system was designed specifically for this space. This light board, manufactured by the Frank Adam Major Electric Company, controlled that system.
Each switch controlled a different aspect of the lighting, providing effects progressing from the simulation of a noon summer sky through twilight and sunset to the deep blue of night. Up to five lighting scenes could be pre-selected and activated by pulling a single lever—making for a smooth transition of lighting between acts.
Though state-of-the-art in 1933, the light board became obsolete with new technologies. In 1987 it was disconnected and replaced by a computerized system. Reinstalled in the Atrium of the Peristyle, the original light board remains a testament to the Peristyle’s history.
E.M. Skinner Opus 603 Organ
Built in 1926 specifically for the Museum, the Opus 603 organ was a gift in memory of the Toledo Museum of Art's founder, Edward Drummond Libbey, from his two sisters, Sarah Miller Libbey and Alice Libbey Walbridge. The organ was built in the Romantic style and has 62 speaking stops and more than 3,000 pipes.
The Museum is next door to the Center for the Visual Arts of the University of Toledo, which was conceived as a joint venture and designed by Frank Gehry and built in 1992. The structure incorporates many of Gehry’s architectural interests: energetic sculptural effects, the innovative use of building materials, dynamically conceived internal spaces, and an extraordinary feel for light and space.
Located on Monroe Street across from the main Museum is the Glass Pavilion. Designed by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, lead architects of SANAA, the Glass Pavilion houses the Museum's extensive glass art collection and state-of-the-art glass making facilities. It was publicly inaugurated in 2006.
Surrounding these structures is the Georgia and David K. Welles Sculpture Garden. Filled with modern and contemporary sculpture by artists like Barry Flanagan, Mark di Suvero, Ellsworth Kelly, and Jaume Plensa, the garden was designed by renowned landscape architecture firm, the Olin Partnership.