Is Claude Monet’s Ghost Haunting the Cleveland Museum of Art?

Halloween came early this year in Cleveland.

Photo: Courtesy Cleveland Museum of Art.


A recent sighting at the Cleveland Museum of Art has people wondering if the museum is haunted by the ghost of Claude Monet.

“We thought it was such a coincidence that on the final day of installing Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse, this man resembling Claude Monet was seen peering down into the lower lobby outside the special exhibition hall,” Kelley Notaro, communications associate with the museum, told “This snapshot taken by a staff member is not retouched or Photoshopped. And we have heard from others that they’ve seen the man, but there hasn’t been a confirmation in his identification!”

The photo in question shows a man with a long, white beard, sporting a hat like the one Monet was fond of wearing, and looking distinctly like the artist who was fond of painting his gardens at Giverny. After the image was posted to Facebook, several superstitious art lovers posited that perhaps—especially given the proximity to Halloween—the figure might just be the ghost of the famous French Impressionist painter.

Monet in 1899. Photo: Cleveland Museum of Art.

Monet in 1899.
Photo: Cleveland Museum of Art.

“This is the first exhibition leading into our centennial year,” said Notaro, “so we are excited to start it off with something as cool as capturing a photo of this Monet look-a-like standing directly above an actual photo of the artist himself.”

Eerily, this isn’t the first time the institution has played host to some supernatural activity. According to their blog, the ghosts of former director William Mathewson Milliken, who died in 1978, and the figure depicted in Jacques Andre Joseph Aved’s Portrait of Jean-Gabriel du Theil at the Signing of the Treaty of Vienna have both come back to haunt the galleries.

All we have to say is, if, in fact, artists coming back to haunt us is a thing, the anti-Renoir folks might wanna watch their backs this Halloween.


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