by Kayleigh Kuhlman
Attending a book club event is a great way to celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month in Ohio. Art museums in Columbus, Akron, Cleveland, Toledo, and Cincinnati offer book clubs; most focus directly on art or artists as the main element. The Columbus Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Art will be hosting discussions in October. The Akron Art Museum, Cincinnati’s Taft Museum of Art, and the Toledo Museum of Art will hold book club meetings in November.
The Columbus Museum of Art’s Art Book Club is in its 10th year. The first year of the program saw outstanding success, with sold-out crowds when the event featured The Da Vinci Code, according to Nancy Turner, the museum’s director of community relations. More recently the book club featured Monuments Men, which sold out twice. The program starts with a presentation by the museum’s Executive Director Nannette Maciejunes. The presentation includes a discussion of the characters, the art related to the book, and examples of work by the artist featured in the book. A group discussion follows, and occasionally the author of the featured book is available for further discussion via Skype. The featured October novel will be Mary Coin, a book inspired on the iconic photo Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange, and gatherings will be held on October 23 and 26. Admission for the event is free for members of the museum and $5 for non-members. For more information and to register, please visit the event page on the museum’s website.
The Cleveland Museum of Art’s featured October book, Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932, is also based on a photo, Brassaï’s Lesbian Couple at Le Monocle, 1932. Cleveland’s book club is split over three days, October 15, 22, and 29, and includes a lecture, discussion, and a chance to see the photograph that inspired the novel in the exhibition Forbidden Games: Surrealist and Modernist Photography. Tickets are $40 for non-members and $30 for museum members. For more information on how to register, visit the Art and Fiction Book Club page on the museum’s website.