There are over 1,500 publicly accessible outdoor sculptures in Ohio listed in this free Ohio Outdoor Sculpture (OOS) with images, historical data and condition information provided. OOS is maintained by The Sculpture Center as both a reference tool and a means to encourage communities to preserve their outdoor public sculpture.
You can submit updated or corrected information on a sculpture's history, manufacture, condition and location, submit new images of sculptures currently listed on OOS and submit information and images for any Ohio outdoor sculpture not listed.
We also invite you to submit photographs at the Ohio Outdoor Sculpture page on Flickr. We will use these images to list sculptures that are missing from the database and will request if we may use the best of the photographs to update the images that are on OOS.
This database is a compilation of all the outdoor public sculpture in Ohio that was surveyed during the 1990s through Save Outdoor Sculpture! (SOS!) and is now being expanded with new sculptures, information and images.
A Brief History
In the 1990s, Save Outdoor Sculpture!, a federally supported Heritage Preservation program, provided federal funding through the Ohio Arts Council to five arts institutions in Ohio, including The Sculpture Center, to train and supervise SOS! Ohio volunteers to locate and record the public outdoor sculptures in their regions.
At the conclusion of SOS!, The Sculpture Center consolidated all the records for Ohio and made them publicly available through OOS. Ohio is the only state that has this information uniquely available in one readily accessed database and that has the condition reports publicly available.
Between 1999 and 2003, The Sculpture Center's Conservation Committee supervised the conservation, restoration and maintainance of 36 sculptures in Cuyahoga County. More information on these sculptures and their care can be found here.
In 2010, the Michael Schwartz Library of Cleveland State University generously rebuilt the OOS database and placed it on a secure server.
In 2012, The Sculpture Center, through the generous support of the Ohio Arts Council and The George Gund Foundation began using crowd sourcing techniques to collect new information on sculptures which are relevant to OOS's data collections. To add new images, data and sculptures to the Flickr collection please visit The Sculpture Center's OOS page on Yahoo Flickr.
In the summer of 2012, the OOS database was moved to the content management system OMEKA by a group of web and graphic design volunteers during a weekend session with Cleveland GiveCamp. The Omeka database is now maintained with the assistance of Cleveland State University's Center for Public History + Digital Humanities.
Partners and Volunteers
The Sculpture Center would like to thank the following people whose hard work and dedication have made OOS the handsome and functional educational resource that it is today: Cleveland State University's Special Collections Librarian William Barrow for his extraordinary efforts to make available to the public all manner of historical information pertinent to the history of NE Ohio and the larger state, Jonathan Herr for his excellent advice and support in incorporating Flickr into the OOS project, GiveCamp volunteer and project manager Cole Worley, as well as Sandy Zhang and countless other GiveCamp and Sculpture Center volunteers whose time and effort brought OOS on Omeka to fruition.
We would also like to thank the various employees associated with Cleveland State University (CSU) and its library systems who made a secure OOS site possible. We extend our gratitude to CSU Library Director Glenda Thornton for her immediate understanding of the educational value of OOSI, the Art Department's Chairman George Mauersberger and Gallery Director Robert Thurmer for their ongoing support of the critical field of outdoor sculpture preservation, Systems Librarian David Lodwick, Assistant Director for Technical Services Barbara Strauss, Metadata Librarian Kiffany Francis and Web Specialist O. Lauren Felder. Most of these latter people are now retired, but our gratitude remains.
Ohio Outdoor Sculpture has more recently been supported by the work of practicum students from the library school at Kent State University, whose efforts are all very much appreciated.