Special Screening of Newly Restored Films

The Cleveland Institute of Art’s Cinematheque, located in University Circle at 11610 Euclid Avenue, welcomes the Society of American Archivists with a special program of newly restored films!

Tuesday, August 18, at 6:45 pm
Richard Myers in Person!
USA, 1960-70, Richard Myers

Richard Myers (b. 1937) is the dean of northeast Ohio filmmakers and one of the most prominent experimental filmmakers in the U.S. Winner of two Guggenheim Fellowships and an American Film Institute grant, Myers has shown his dream-based 16mm movies at MoMA, the Whitney, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the National Film Theater in London, and the Venice Film Festival, among others. They are now in the process of being restored and preserved by the Archive of the Academy of the Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Hollywood. Tonight Myers will present and discuss three of the Academy Archive’s recent restorations (all in 16mm): The Path (1960, 20 min.), the first film in Myers’ 40+ year career; Akbar (1970, 16 min.), a portrait of Ahmed Akbar, a black filmmaker and former student of Myers at Kent State University; and an excerpt from Myers’ dizzying 118-min. opus Akran (1969). Total approx. 90 min. Special $7 admission for badge-wearing attendees of the SAA Annual Meeting.

Tuesday, August 18, at 8:30 pm
New 35mm Restoration!
USA, 1985, Shirley Clarke

Saxophonist and free jazz legend Ornette Coleman, who died in June, was the subject of the final feature film by pioneering American independent filmmaker Shirley Clarke (Portrait of Jason, The Connection). Clarke follows Coleman as he returns to his hometown on Fort Worth, Texas, in 1983, then tries to approximate his music with a free-flowing blend of interviews, performance footage, experimental music videos, and historical reenactments. With William S. Burroughs, Buckminster Fuller, Yoko Ono, Robert Palmer, et al. Cleveland revival premiere. 85 min. Special $8 admission for badge-wearing attendees of the SAA Annual Meeting.


Sports Heritage in Cleveland

By Jeremy Feador, Host Committee member

Sports run through the veins of Cleveland. Not long after the Cincinnati Red Stockings became the first professional baseball team, Cleveland responded with her own club. Football was born an hour south of Cleveland in Canton (site of Pro Football Hall of Fame) and the Browns are a beloved franchise. At one point the Browns played in 10 championship games in 10 years! Seriously! It happened! Look it up! LeBron James has reinvigorated interest in Cleveland’s youngest pro sports team, the Cavs and nearly brought home the first title in Cleveland since 1964. (Hey, there’s always next year!)

When you find yourself in Cleveland for SAA this year, there are several sites relating to Cleveland’s sports heritage that you must check out.

Sports Venues

First Energy Stadium
100 Alfred Lerner Way
Home of the Cleveland Browns, First Energy Stadium is located on the Lakefront across from the Rock Hall and can be seen out the window of the Convention Center. If you feel like catching a pre-season game, the Browns will host the Buffalo Bills on Thursday, August 20th and will be featured on ESPN. As dreary as the Browns have been since they returned in 1999, they do have a very proud history (see Cleveland Memory’s “The Glory Days of the Cleveland Browns“). Legendary Coach Paul Brown guided the club to 10 straight championship games in a ten year span (1946-1955). The team was relocated to Baltimore after the 1995 season and this stadium was built in an effort to have professional football return to Cleveland. Browns stadium is built on the same ground where Cleveland Municipal Stadium once stood.

League Park, Cleveland, Ohio
League Park, Cleveland, Ohio (image courtesy of Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)

League Park
Lexington Ave & East 66th Street
In 2014, Cleveland’s League Park, “the oldest existing ball park in the world,” reopened after a million dollar facelift. Located in the Hough neighborhood, League Park is perhaps one of the most historic ballparks still in existence. League Park was the setting for many historic moments: Babe Ruth’s 500th home run, Joe Dimaggio’s 56th hit in his hit streak, the Indians 1920 World Series Title. Players such as Ty Cobb, Bob Feller, Nap Lajoie, Hank Greenburg, Lou Gehrig, and the Negro League Cleveland Buckeyes all played at League Park. When the Indians moved to Municipal Stadium full-time in 1947, League Park gradually fell into disrepair. However, due to efforts of the City of Cleveland, the field is now open for visitors and baseball teams. Located inside the original ticket house is the Baseball Heritage Museum. Cleveland Memory has a great online exhibit.

League Park today
League Park today (Image courtesy of Jeremy Feador)

Progressive Field
2401 Ontario Street
Home of the Cleveland Indians, Progressive Field just turned 20 years old last year. The ballpark has hosted two World Series and an All-Star Game. Walking around the ballpark, make sure to check out the Bob Feller, Jim Thome, and Larry Doby statues. Feller, considered one of the best right handed pitchers in baseball history, was born in Van Meter, Iowa and joined the Indians when he was 17 years old. He served in the Navy during WWII and when the war was over, helped the Indians capture the 1948 World Series. The Larry Doby statue will be unveiled later in July and commemorates Doby’s Hall of Fame and barrier breaking career. He was the first African American to play in the American League. (The Indians are out of town during SAA.)

The Q
1 Center Court
Home of the LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Q also hosts rock concerts, arena football games, and other family friendly events.


Devoted to History

Cleveland Public Library’s Sports Research Center
Louis Stokes Wing, 525 Superior Avenue
CPL is a must stop for any library enthusiast. It is also home of the Sports Research Center. As the website notes, it “showcases the best of Cleveland sports history all in one convenient location. The Center houses more than 25,000 books, magazines and primary research materials, including archival photos, scrapbooks, autographs, clippings, oral history recordings, correspondence and more. The Center is free and open to the public year-round.” If you love baseball, the library is also home to the Mears Collection. Can’t make it to CPL? No problem, the library also has wonderful digital collections, such as this one on the history of baseball.

Cleveland State University’s Michael Schwartz Library Special Collections
1860 E. 22nd Street
Another archival repository worth checking out for sports fans is CSU’s Michael Schwartz Library. Home to the Cleveland Press Collection, Special Collections contains a vast photographic history of Cleveland sports. Many of these photographs are online in Cleveland Memory.

Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage
2929 Richmond Road, Beachwood
If you can make the trip to Cleveland’s east side, the Maltz is currently hosting the traveling exhibit “Chasing Dreams: Baseball & Becoming American.” Organized by the National Museum of American Jewish History, it “explores the central role our national pastime has played in the identity of Jews and other minority communities.” See the museum’s Current Exhibitions for more information on it and special events related to the exhibit.

"Chasing Dreams: Baseball & Becoming American." Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage
“Chasing Dreams: Baseball & Becoming American” (image courtesy of Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage

Jessie Owens Statue
Corner of West 3rd and Lakeside
Although Jessie Owens was not born in Cleveland, his family moved to the city when he was only a child. Jessie attended Ohio State and then competed in the 1936 Olympics. He is most remembered for winning four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics while Adolph Hitler was in attendance.


And, a café…

Hotz Café
2529 West 10th Street
If you happen to be in Tremont (a few minutes south of Downtown) stop at Hotz Café. The bar has hosted such legendary names as Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Lou Gehrig. See Cleveland.com’s “Hotz Cafe: Legendary Cleveland bar hosted Babe Ruth, tossed Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep”


Additional Resources

Sports and Baseball. The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, Case Western Reserve University.

Dorothy Layne McIntyre, African American aviator

Dorothy Layne McIntyre (image courtesy of Dorothy Layne McIntyre Family Papers, WRHS)
Dorothy Layne McIntyre (image courtesy of Dorothy Layne McIntyre Family Papers, WRHS)

By Rita Knight-Gray, Host Committee member

In 1940, Dorothy Layne McIntyre became the first African American woman to receive a private pilot’s license under the Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA). She attended the flying program at West Virginia State College. While working as a secretary in the Baltimore Urban League, she also taught aircraft mechanics at the War Production Training School. She moved to Cleveland and married F. Benjamin McIntyre in 1942 and worked as a bookkeeper, social worker, and a Cleveland Public School teacher until she retired in 1979. McIntyre still lives in the greater Cleveland area.


Cleveland’s Unknown African American History from the Icabod Flewellen Collection

By Rita Knight-Gray, Host Committee member

Icabod Flewellen (image courtesy of the Flewellen Collection)
Icabod Flewellen (image courtesy of the Flewellen Collection, East Cleveland Public Library)

Icabod Flewellen was born July 6, 1916, in Williamson, West Virginia.  His passion for Negro history began as a young man reading J. A. Roger’s Negro newspaper articles. After discharge from the army in 1945, Mr. Flewellen believed that everyone should have the opportunity to see the accomplishments of Africans and those of African descent. His dream was to build an Afro-American museum in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1953, while working as a Veterans Administration messenger and a maintenance person at Case Western Reserve University, Flewellen started collecting material to build his collection for the Afro-American Cultural and Historical Society. He traded, purchased, and bartered for items pertaining to known and unknown African American events and people. In 1964, the Cleveland “Parade of Progress” exhibition proclaimed Flewellen’s Negro history collection of one of the largest in the country.

The closed Cleveland Public Library’s Hough Branch became the home of the African American Museum. Unfortunately, managerial and financial debacles forced Flewellen out, and he had to return the documents and historical items to his home. In 1999, Flewellen donated his 400 cubic feet collection to the East Cleveland Public Library.

In 2005, the Cleveland Foundation awarded funding for the processing of the collection. Presently, 90% of the collection has been inventoried, cataloged, and is available online through a finding aid.

In 1993, Flewellen obtained a degree in history and became the oldest graduate from Case Western Reserve University. He continued to research and lecture on everything regarding African Americans until his death in 2001.

The above photographs are courtesy of the Flewellen Collection, East Cleveland Public Library.

Other Cleveland African Americans featured in the collection include:

  1. Rev. Glen T. Settle, pastor of Gethsemane Baptist Church, whose Wings Over Jordan Choir was the first professional black choir in the United States that preserved Negro spirituals, receiving the Peabody Award.
  2. John Malvin, a free man born in 1795 in Dumfries, Prince-William County, Virginia of a slave father and a free mother, who worked with an organization to obtain land in Canada so that Negros could move away from Black Laws. While in Cleveland, he became a successful canal boat captain, a civil liberties fighter, and established a colored children’s school. In 1880, he was buried in an unmarked grave in Erie Cemetery. Icabod Flewellen worked with the John Malvin Foundation of Cleveland to obtain funding for a headstone for Malvin’s grave.
  3. George C. Jones, who owned a brass foundry on Central Ave. in Cleveland, where he made street car trolley wheels. His wheels were considered the best of their time and marketed by the Holland Trolley Supply Company of Cleveland throughout the world.

Sources & More Information:

Edmonia Lewis, Sculptor

By Rita Knight-Gray, Host Committee member

Edmonia Lewis. (Image from the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, via Wikipedia)
Edmonia Lewis. (Image from the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, via Wikipedia)

Edmonia Lewis (circa 1844-1911) was an African/Native American sculptor from New York that studied at Oberlin College, 35 miles from Cleveland. Being not only one of the first women but African American sculptors in the United States proved to be a struggle for Lewis, and she spent most of her career in Rome. Lewis’s acclaimed work includes The Bust of Colonel Robert Shaw of the Colored 54th Regiment, the “politically correct” marble sculpture Being Cleopatra, and many pieces on Native American Life. Lewis’s sculpture Indian Combat can be seen at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Indian Combat by Lewis. (Photo by Rita Knight-Gray)
Indian Combat by Lewis. (Photo by Rita Knight-Gray)