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The Taft Museum Celebrates 100 Years of Cincinnati Art With Its Newest Exhibit

The Taft Museum of Art continues celebrating the 200th anniversary of the historic home that houses it with a new special exhibit, A Splendid Century: Cincinnati Art 1820–1920.

From October 3, 2020 to January 24, 2021, visitors will be treated to rarely-seen pieces of Cincinnati art in the museum’s Fifth Third Gallery.

Curated from private collections and other museums, the exhibit features nearly 60 works of art from Rookwood Pottery and works by sculptors and painters such as Hiram Powers, Robert S. Duncanson, Elizabeth Nourse, Frank Duveneck, Henry Farny, and Lilly Martin Spencer. Spencer’s paintings are some of the most wonderful discoveries in the exhibit. Spencer herself was the beneficiary of the support of famous Cincinnatian Nicholas Longworth, and was an artist well ahead of her time.

During the century-spanning 1820 to 1920, the Baum, Longworth, Sinton, and Taft families lived in the house and had front-row seats for the Queen City’s transformation from rugged frontier outpost to bustling hub of art and creative expression. Nicholas Longworth and Charles and Anna Taft were especially supportive of artists and art institutions. The exhibit captures some of the best works from this period, including the stunningly colorful works of painter Dixie Selden, and two utterly charming paintings by James Henry Beard featuring lovable dogs.

You’ll find classic landscapes, portraits, sculptures, and incredible pieces of Rookwood Pottery, along with some strikingly modern works by artists like James Roy Hopkins and Julie Morrow de Forest.

The curators acknowledge the underrepresentation and share the stories of BIPOC during that century via “More to the Story” labels throughout the exhibit.

The Taft is also planning several special online programs in conjunction with the exhibit, including a drawing workshop, a talk with one of the exhibit’s curators about the work that went into assembling the art, and virtual tours.

You will not want to miss this fascinating look at an important slice of Cincinnati art history. Get a preview in the gallery.


For more details on the exhibit, and to get tickets, visit the Taft’s website.