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The Cleveland Museum of Art holds many fond memories for me. Art lessons in the basement, lunch in the courtyard, visits with classmates. I could never exactly memorize my way through the labyrinth of galleries, but instinct told me turning left here would eventually lead me to Chuck Close’s “Paul III.” If I could find my way to the room filled with knights and armor, I could escape outdoors to Wade Lagoon and the shadow of the beautiful marble Beaux-Arts building.

Since the expansion and renovation of the museum, many of those dim hallways are gone (for the better, really), and the location of the secret garden-like courtyard now sits somewhere inside the massive atrium, where parallel lines of the sleek, modern ceiling meet the neoclassical facade.

With a week’s worth of vacation days to use up at the end of 2015, I decided to while away an afternoon exploring this familiar-yet-new space. The walls might have changed, but many of my old friends — Degas and Matisse, “Gray and Gold” and “Twilight in the Wilderness” — are still there.

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Photos by Michael Ciuni

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