Collecting Dreams: Odilon Redon

Odilon Redon was known as “the prince of mysterious dreams” for his enigmatic and imaginative paintings, drawings, and prints that mined fantasy, literature, and the subconscious. The Cleveland Museum of Art was among the earliest American museums to collect pieces by this groundbreaking 19th-century French artist. Beginning nearly a century ago, in 1925, the institution’s early supporters made landmark donations of artworks by Redon, such as his darkly evocative lithograph Parsifal and his pastel masterpiece Orpheus—described by one art historian as the artist’s finest work. These early acquisitions earned the CMA an international reputation as the most important repository of works by Redon outside France, and the museum continues to augment its remarkable collection to this day.

Collecting Dreams: Odilon Redon celebrates the CMA’s exceptional holdings by Redon, including a newly acquired charcoal drawing. It also features one of the artist’s most significant late paintings, Andromeda (1912), a special loan from the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts that was exhibited for the first time in the United States at the CMA in 1926, alongside the museum’s own works by Redon. Together, the objects on view reveal the legacy of this influential Post-Impressionist artist in Cleveland.