9. The Museum of Divine Statues
Another quirky spot in Cleveland is the Museum of Divine Statues, founded by Cleveland native Lou McClung. McClung painstakingly restores ecclesiastical statues, often from parishes that have closed. As McClung walks us around the museum in Lakewood, he explains that he started simply as a collector. But the multi-talented man is also a makeup entrepreneur and makeup artist, and applies his knowledge to the rehabilitation of the statues. His work has become so renown, statues have been shipped to him from across the country for restoration. “Through art, we use it to represent history,” McClung says, and has collected an impressive database of information about each of the statues which can be accessed via mobile devices in the museum.
Appropriately, the Museum of Divine Statues is located in a former church and the collection of statues that line the former nave includes a 19th century statue of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, the oldest in the mix. In the vestry rooms and altar of the former church are some of the quirkier things to look out for. One room has a collection of nearly 40 dolls dressed as nuns of different orders found in Cleveland. A display case shows the religious items carried by soldiers in World War I, often formed out of bullets and shrapnel.
McClung restores the statues in a room at the front entrance of the museum, viewable through a window from the outside.
The Museum of Divine Statues is located at 12905 Madison Avenue., Lakewood, 44107