A lovely and impressive museum, with a glass hammock and giant tire swing, both of which you’re actually allowed to sit in (and swing, in the latter), the museum also works hard to collect jewelry and metals! I wish more museums did that.

Since I enjoy seeing other blogger’s travel pics, I’ll share some of the cool metal and jewelry from our recent quick visit to Toledo, Ohio.

Louis Sullivan Bank Teller Screen, Iron, in the collection of the Toledo Museum of Art.

We have lots of Louis Sullivan buildings and bits and pieces in Chicago, so I thought I’d seen it all. Imagine living in a time where everything could be so lovely – imagine going to the bank and seeing this gorgeous piece of metalwork. I need to work on my descriptive terms, clearly, but I love this. I love metal and patinas and what you can do with metal.

Plique-a-jour enamel brooch in platinum with pearls and diamonds, German, about 1905, in the collection of the Toledo Museum of Art.

I wish you could see this in person, the craftsmanship! The delicacy! It’s gorgeous. Why everyone was rushing past it to look at larger works of art, I have no idea.

Earrings, in the collection of the Toledo Museum of Art.

The signage was confusing, so I can’t tell you much about these other than I would totally wear them, and it’s cool when an old piece withstands trendiness and holds up so well over time.

Below is a set of iron, steel and gold jewelry, made in Berlin in 1825, and I believe it’s mourning jewelry.

Iron, steel and gold necklace, brooch, earrings and waist buckle. German, about 1825, Royal Ironworks of Berlin. Collection of the Toledo Museum of Art.

Iron Belt, 1825. Collection of the Toledo Museum of Art.

Egyptian Arm Wands. New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, 1550-1307 BCE. Collection of the Toledo Museum of Art.

We’ve been reading Harry Potter at our house, so I was excited to see these arm wands! And then sad to learn that they were a popular musical instrument.

And here’s a cat mummy, poor thing.

Cat Mummy, Collection of the Toledo Museum of Art

Lastly, for you Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus fans, check out this Peristyle Theater at the museum:


Peristyle Theater at the Toledo Museum of Art.


The museum also had an impressive amount of work by women artists up, including “The Party” by Marisol. (We’ll pretend that part of the reason isn’t that women artists are cheaper to collect.)

If you’re in Ohio, I definitely recommend a stop at this museum! It’s a good size, but manageable for families with kids of all ages. Excellent signage does not assume you already know lots about art, and helpful staff abound, should you have questions or want to engage.

Bonus activities include the aforementioned giant tire swing, a kids activity room and daily glass blowing demonstrations. (Once again, the glass blowers get all the attention! I suppose I should be grateful to them for bringing attention to Contemporary Crafts.)

You can view some of the collections online:


This post is by Elaine Luther and was published on March 30, 2019 on All Things Metal Clay.

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