Cleveland Museum of Art's Mysteries After Dark event proves successful
Issue date: 10/2/09 Section: Focus
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This incident, therefore, provided the basis for a murder mystery at the Cleveland Museum of Art's Mysteries After Dark, the final event in the Summer of CMA celebration. The museum invited area college students to explore its galleries while investigating the murder of fictional museum curator Sterling Teapot. Of course, cocktail snacks and music from local DJs drew a larger-than-expected crowd.
University Program Board's efforts to promote the event proved to extremely successful. Originally, UPB bought 40 tickets to distribute for free, but popular demand for tickets pushed them to purchase an additional 40 tickets. All in all, the CMA expected a crowd of around 200 students, some drawn by the promise of free food, others inspired by an opportunity to visit the new galleries.
More than simply an excuse to visit the CMA, Mysteries After Dark created a fun and interactive atmosphere in which to connect with the artwork. Armed with a dossier full of clues and a map of the galleries, visitors wandered around the museum, examining various paintings for answers to the mystery. Evidence lay hidden in Marsden Hartley's Military, Henri Rousseau's Fight between a Tiger and a Buffalo, and Claude Monet's The Red Kerchief: Portrait of Mrs. Monet.
In unravelling the secret of Sterling Teapot's murder, university students also were able to engage in pieces not featured as clues. Senior Ruchi Sanghani said, "I loved that, in the process of solving the murder mystery, we were able to explore the different galleries. While our group rushed through it the first time around, eager to solve the case, during our second go-through, we stopped and looked at other pieces in the galleries which created a completely different experience for me as someone who has been to the CMA a handful of times."