2006-2008 Exhibitions

Antique Christmas
November 21, 2008–January 4, 2009
Celebrate the holidays with friends and family by visiting the Taft Museum of Art for Antique Christmas. You will find the historic house adorned with dazzling ornaments and delicate paper decorations.

A variety of rarely displayed decorations and toys created during the years that the former house was inhabited (1820-1931) will grace its halls and rooms. Notably, German feather trees made of wire and goose feathers will be trimmed with ornaments that were made in America or imported here from around the world. Festive greenery will deck the halls and exterior of the house, and the Dining Room will be set for the holidays with sparkling china, crystal, and silver.

Exhibition Sponsors
Macy’s
Wodecroft Foundation
Frontgate
Media Partners: WGUC 90.9/WVXU 91.7; The Cincinnati Enquirer

“A Right Jolly Old Elf”: Thomas Nast’s Christmas Illustrations
November 21, 2008-January 4, 2009
We have Thomas Nast (German, 1840-1902) to thank for many American Christmas traditions. As an illustrator for Harper’s Weekly from 1856 to 1886, Nast created the image of Santa Claus as a plump, jolly man with a workshop run by elves at the North Pole and established the tradition of children writing letters to Santa. He often used his own five children as models for his annual Christmas illustrations, several of which will be on view here. They come from the collection of Jean and Mike Ciancio.

Exhibition Sponsors
Mr. and Mrs. Michael T. Schueler
Fine Arts Fund Partner: GE

Brush/Clay/Wood: The Nancy & Ed Rosenthal Collection of Chinese Art
November 7, 2008-January 11, 2009
Organized by the Taft Museum of Art, this exhibition offers a rare opportunity to see a selection of the treasures that fill the home of these local collectors. Explore developments in Chinese art, with outstanding pieces of Ming furniture—chairs, tables, desks, and chestscarved from gleaming dark woods presented alongside ceramic objects spanning the history of Chinese pottery, ranging in date from the Neolithic period to the relatively modern Qing dynasty.

The exhibition also includes contemporary paintings by artists trained just after the Cultural Revolution (1966-76). The Rosenthals, who travel periodically in China, have met several of the painters whose canvases they own. Among the artists represented in the collection are Chen Yifei, Mao Yan, Xue Song, Pang Maokun, He Datian, and Zhand Hongtu.

Altogether, the collection provides a fascinating window into Chinese art and culture as encountered by a pair of discerning collectors.

Exhibition Sponsors
The John Hauck Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, John W. Hauck, E. Allen Elliot and Narley L. Haley, Co-Trustees
The Frank J. Kloenne and Jacqueline D. Kloenne Foundation, Fifth Third Bank and Narley L. Haley, Co-Trustees
A Friend of the Taft Museum of Art
Betsey and Marvin H. Schwartz
The Merten Company
James J. Lally
Ann and Gerald Silvers
Ellen and George Rieveschl Endowment
Albert Chan and Family
Media Partners: WGUC 90.9/WVXU 91.7
Fine Arts Fund Partner: P&G

Views from the Uffizi: Painting the Italian Landscape
June 13-October 12, 2008
Tranquil, stormy, or epic, landscapes can take on many moods. A selection of 40 paintings fromt he famed Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, surveys the evolution of landscape painting in Italy over three centuries, from the Renaissance through the 18th century. Included are works by such great painters as Botticelli, Guercino, Poussin, Claude, and Canaletto.

The earliest paintings are from the late 15th century, when landscape often served as a backdrop for sacred or historical subjects. In the next century, Venetian painters in particular expanded the role of landscape in art. The 17th century witnessed a great blossoming of pure landscape, when Northern European artists such as Paul Bril, Cornelis van Poelenburgh, and especially Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain helped stimulate the new form.

Italian artists contributed to this evoluation, too: Salvator Rosa, Filippo Napoletano, Alessandro Magnasco, and Canaletto introduced original and influential new styles of landscape during the 17th and 18th centuries. Altogether, the landscapes painted in Italy formed the basis of the European landscape tradition, as seen in the Taft Museum of Art’s own collection.

The exhibition curator, Antonio Natali, is the director of the Uffizi Gallery. The exhibition organizers are Contemporanea Progetti in Florence and the Trust for Museum Exhibitions, Washington, D.C.

Exhibition Sponsors
Ellen and George Rieveschl Endowment
Josephine Schell Russell Charitable Trust, PNC Bank, Trustee
John W. Hauck Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Co-Trustee
The Kaplan Foundation
A Friend of the Taft Museum of Art
Oliver Charitable Trust
Harold C. Schott Foundation
Lela C. Brown
The Carl H. Lindner Family
Raymond James & Associates
Mr. and Mrs. Carl F. Kalnow
Mr. and Mrs. Michael T. Schueler
Media Partners: WGUC 90.9/WVXU 91.7
Fine Arts Fund Partner: P&G

From Winslow Homer to Edward Hopper: American Watercolor Masterpieces from the Brooklyn Museum
February 22-May 11, 2008

The Brooklyn Museum holds one of the oldest public collections of American art in the United States. Among its holdings is an extensive collection of watercolors, and 70 of the best have been lent to the Taft Museum of Art.

Ranging in date from the late 18th century to 1945, the works represent all the major movements in American art, with an emphasis on landscape and scenes of daily life: late 18th-century picturesque view-paintings, the Hudson River school’s ideal landscapes, post-Civil War realism, American Impressionism, early 20th-century modernist abstractions, and American Scene painting of the 1920s and 1930s, also known as Regionalism.

Among the featured artists are some of the greatest American practitioners of the watercolor medium, including Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, Childe Hassam, John Singer Sargent, Maurice Prendergast, John Marin, and Edward Hopper. This selection constitutes a rich and informative survey of the development of landscape art and watercolor practice in the United States over the course of 200 years.

Three distinct but interconnected stories in the history of American art and culture can be traced in this exhibition: the rise of landscape painting and its link to the national identity, the development of the watercolor medium over two centuries, and the actual techniques used by artists employing this luminous medium.

The arts of landscape and watercolor debuted and matured in tandem in the United States. In the 19th century, American landscape imagery changed from the documentary to the evocative, and in the 20th century it became abstract and newly realistic. Watercolor practice also evolved as artists mastered and moved beyond painstakingly detailed execution toward the freedom of Impressionist-inspired styles and modernist innovation. The status of watercolor simultaneously shifted from being a medium associated with illustrators and amateurs to one fully embraced by leading artists.

The watercolors on display are intimate works that draw us close by means of their transparent washes, the vivid clarity of their colors, and the light that seems to emanate from within them.

Exhibition Sponsors
Ellen and George Rieveschl Endowment
A Friend of the Taft Museum of Art
The H.B., E.W., and F.R. Luther Charitable Foundation, Fifth Third Bank and Narley L. Haley, Co-Trustees
The Sutphin Family Foundation
The Frank J. Kloenne and Jacqueline D. Kloenne Foundation, Fifth Third Bank and Narley L. Haley,
Co-Trustees
Robert C. and Adele R. Schiff Foundation
Media Partners: WGUC 90.9/WVXU 91.7
Fine Arts Fund Partner: P&G

Jewels of Time: Watches from the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute
November 30, 2007–January 27, 2008
Museum exhibitions dedicated to any aspect of watchmaking come along rarely. This one will complement the Taft’s own historic watch collection and can be seen against the background of the watchmaking industry that flourished in the Tristate area during the 19th and 20th centuries.

The installation will be divided into eleven different categories that demonstrate distinct types of watches, each with its own opulent masterpieces. This exhibition is the first to explore watches within the history of decorative arts and jewelry as opposed to the history of their engineering.

This exhibition presents 80 of the most visually appealing, finely worked, and technically sophisticated European and American watches from the collection formed around 1900 by brothers Thomas and Frederick Proctor, collectors from Utica, New York. Spanning the period of the Renaissance to the early 20th century, the collection is one of the largest and most important ever formed in the United States.

Exhibition Sponsors
Charles H. Dater Foundation
A Friend of the Taft Museum of Art
Ellen and George Rieveschl Endowment
Wodecroft Foundation
The Carl Lindner Family
Legg Mason
Fine Arts Fund Partner: P&G

An Antique Christmas at the Taft Museum of Art
November 2, 2007–January 14, 2008
Old-fashioned Christmas decorations will adorn the galleries of the Taft Museum of Art over the holidays. A variety of rarely displayed objects and toys created during the years that the former house was inhabited (1820-1931) will grace its halls and rooms. Notably, German feather trees made of wire and goose feathers will be trimmed with sparkling ornaments that were made in American or imported here from around the world, such as glass icicles, end-of-day ornaments, Czechoslovakian beaded glass ornaments, Japanese Santa candy containers, American paper scrap and tinsel ornaments, Pennsylvania Dutch cotton batting ornaments, and a range of glass ornaments. Among the antique objects on display will be the porcelain snowbabies popular after World War I; Belsnickles, or Father Christmas figures; and other early toys. Festive greenery will deck the halls and exterior of the house, and the Dining Room will be set for the holidays with antique silver.

Fine Arts Fund Partner: U.S. Bank

Romanticism to Post-Impressionism: 19th-Century German Art from the Milwaukee Art Museum
September 7–November 4, 2007
The exhibition Romanticism to Post-Impressionism: 19th-Century German Art from the Milwaukee Art Museum looks at the course of German art during a time of great national change. Gothic architecture, contemporary writing, and the beauty of the landscape became new sources of inspiration for Romantic artists such as Schinkel, Olivier, and Friedrich.

German immigration and German-American cross-cultural exchange influenced the culture of Cincinnati during the 19th century. In recognition of this fact, the Taft Museum of Art is presenting an exhibition of German fine arts from that formative century. It traces the development of German art by featuring 71 outstanding prints, drawings, watercolors, and paintings from the Milwaukee Art Museum, which holds one of the premier collections of this material in the United States. During the century of Germany’s political unification, many German artists sought to create a national art by using elements of German identity in their work. Romantic artists active during the first half of the century included Gothic cathedrals, pine forests, and scenes from German literature in their images, for example. Even after unity was achieved in 1871, and German art opened more widely to European influences, it remained distinctive. German painters and printmakers produced unique variants of the international movements Impressionism, Naturalism, and Post-Impressionism.

Exhibition Sponsors
The BMW Store
Duke Energy
Warrington Exhibition Endowment
Robert W. Baird & Co.
Ellen & George Rieveschl Endowment
Media Partners: WGUC 90.9/WVXU 91.7
Fine Arts Fund Partner: P&G

Johann Wilhelm Schirmer: Etchings from the Milwaukee Art Museum
September 7–October 21, 2007
In conjunction with Romanticism to Post-Impressionism: 19th-Century German Art from the Milwaukee Art Museum in the Fifth Third Gallery, this small display in the Keystone Gallery highlights the graphic work of German artists Johann Wilhelm Schirmer (1807-1863), co-founder of the Association for Landscape Composition in 1827 and influential teacher at the Dusseldorf and Karlsruhe academies. Schirmer often combined highly realistic nature studies into large-scale landscape paintings that included historical, biblical, or literary references. He also crafted meticulous etchings, prime examples of which can be seen in this intimate exhibition.

Exhibition Sponsors: Mr. and Mrs. Michael T. Schueler
Fine Arts Fund Partner: GE Aviation

Hiram Powers: Genius in Marble
May 18–August 12, 2007
This exhibition explores the Cincinnati origins, patronage, artistic production, and techniques of Hiram Powers, the most famous mid-19th-century American sculptor. Approximately 35 sculptures and some artifacts from public and private collections explore Powers’s influential processes of plaster modeling and marble-cutting, his portrait busts, and his ideal (allegorical) subjects. Powers is important in the history of the Baum-Longworth-Sinton-Taft House. Nicholas Longworth was an early supporter, making possible Powers’ stay in Washington, D.C. and indirectly his trip to Italy, from which he never returned. Members of the Sinton and Taft families had their portrait busts made by Powers. This exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue offering new research on the artist.

Exhibition Sponsors
The Henry Luce Foundation
A Friend of the Taft Museum of Art
Ohio Arts Council
National Endowment for the Arts
A Friend of the Taft Museum of Art
Walter I. Farmer Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation
Theodore A. Gantz
Conner-Rosenkranz, LLC, New York
A Friend of the Taft Museum of Art
Docents of the Taft Museum of Art
James Graham & Sons, Inc., New York<

Media Partners: WGUC 90.9/WVXU 91.7
Fine Arts Fund Partner: Procter & Gamble

Around Town: 19th-Century Books on Cincinnati
April 20–August 19, 2007
From Daniel Drake’s early Natural and Statistical Views of Cincinnati, published in 1815, to History of Cincinnati, Ohio, with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches (1881) by Henry A. Ford and Mrs. Kate B. Ford, this small display features nine illustrated books on Cincinnati that span the decades of the 19th century. The books are drawn from the Taft Museum of Art archives and private collections

Exhibition Sponsors: Mr. and Mrs. Michael T. Schueler
Fine Arts Fund Partner: GE Aviation

Luminist Horizons: The Art and Collection of James A. Suydam
January 26–April 29, 2007
Luminism refers to a group of scenic American 19th-century landscape paintings with profoundly quiet moods and almost magical effects of light. Their saturation of light and atmosphere has been much admired and often connected to American intellectual trends of the time, including Transcendentalism. James Augustus Suydam was one of the Luminist landscapists who painted in the Hudson River valley, along the Rhode Island coast, and in other locations. A man of independent means, he not only painted but also assembled a fine collection of works by his American and European colleagues. Approximately 55 works selected from the National Academy in New York City highlight the finest examples of Suydam’s masterful art and superlative collection. Included are major paintings by John F. Kensett, Asher B. Durand, Frederic Edwin Church, and Sanford Gifford.

Exhibition Sponsors
A Friend of the Taft Museum of Art
Duke Energy
Dr. Compton Allyn
Media Partners: WGUC 90.9/WVXU 91.7
Fine Arts Fund Partner: Procter & Gamble

An Antique Christmas at the Taft Museum of Art
November 17, 2006–January 7, 2007
Visit the Tafts’ home for the holidays, when the halls and galleries of the Museum will be adorned with antique Christmas decorations and festive greenery, and the Dining Room table will be set for the holiday party with sparkling china, crystal, and silver.

Traditional German feather trees made of wire and dyed goose feathers are trimmed with ornaments from the late 19th and early 20th centuries and surrounded by toys, figures, and dolls. These festive ornaments and decorations would have been popular during the time the Tafts called the Baum-Longworth-Sinton-Taft House their home.

Featured are Belsnickles (papier-mâché Santas), Kugels (blown-glass ornaments with decorative metal tops), Dresdens (embossed paper ornaments), paper dolls, and many other beautiful and rare ornaments on loan from private collections.

Exhibition Sponsor
H.G., H.E., and L.T. Dornette Foundation, Stan Koller and Fifth Third Bank, Trustees
Media Partners: WGUC 90.9/WVXU 91.7
Fine Arts Fund Partner: Procter & Gamble

A Western View: Five Paintings by Henry Farny
October 13–December 10, 2006
Native American Indian life in the American West inspired 19th-century Cincinnati artist Henry Farny (1847-1916). He painted Indians hunting, trekking, and camping in stunning wilderness landscapes at a time when the American frontier was already disappearing and tribes were mostly confined to reservations. Farny singled out the exotic aspects of the legendary West but also highlighted the Indians’ dignity and harmony with nature. A Western View, a selection of five of Farny’s nostalgic and luminous pictures, is timed to coincide at the Taft Museum of Art with a larger exhibition of contemporary art, Michael Scott: Farny Fables, in which the living artist Scott refers frequently to Farny’s body of work.

Exhibition Sponsor: Mr. and Mrs. Michael T. Schueler
Fine Arts Fund Partner: GE Aviation

Michael Scott: Farny Fables
September 29–December 31, 2006
Contemporary artist Michael Scott’s new sequence of 30 vividly colored and imagined pictures offers one surprise after another. Using a realistic technique that entices the eye, Scott offers an original meditation on problems of luck, originality, value, and worth. Along the way, he pays tribute to the old masters by borrowing and recasting motifs from great works of art, including two pictures from the Taft Museum of Art. Scott sets his unusual story in lushly rendered environments that draw on 17th-century Dutch painting, the Old West, and 20th-century pop culture. A printed narrative by the artist carries viewers through the engaging tale, while an additional group of six oil studies offers insight into his working process.

Exhibition Sponsors
Warrington Exhibition Endowment
Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Anderson
Hauck Foundation
The Very Rev. James A. Diamond
Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Koetters
Media Partners: WGUC 90.9/WVXU 91.7
Fine Arts Fund Partner: Procter & Gamble

Turner Watercolors from the Taft Collections
July 21–October 1, 2006
Along with two major oil paintings, one from early in his career and one late, the Taft Museum of Art holds ten watercolors by James Mallord William Turner (British, 1775-1851). Spanning the first half of the 19th century, these watercolors depict landscapes of Switzerland, Germany, England, Scotland, and Italy. Historically, they broke new ground in the artistic fields of book illustration, travel views, and the watercolor medium itself.

Exhibition Sponsor: Institute of Museum and Library Services
Fine Arts Fund Partner: GE Transportation

Dark Jewels: Chinese Black and Brown Ceramics from the Shatzman Collection
July 14–September 10, 2006
Primarily dating from the 11th through the 14th centuries, 70 examples explore the subtle and rich beauty of tea bowls, jars, bottles, and other ceramic forms created during the Song, Jin, and Yuan dynasties of China. During these periods, patronage by the ruling class and educated elite had an impact on the development of distinctive aesthetics in ceramics. Produced at numerous kilns over a large geographic area, the black and brown wares with their striking patterns and pictorial designs were achieved by sophisticated manipulation of glazes rich in iron oxide.

Exhibition Sponsor: Institute of Museum and Library Services
Media Partners: WGUC 90.9/WVXU 91.7
Fine Arts Fund Partner: Procter & Gamble

Italian Renaissance Prints From the Cincinnati Art Museum
April 7–June 18, 2006
Nine Italian Renaissance engravings, etchings, and woodblock prints that are usually kept locked away will be presented in tandem with Italian ceramics of the same period, 1450 to 1550. The prints portray religious as well as secular subjects, such as astrological images, animals, and scenes from mythology. The best-known printmakers featured include Ugo da Carpi, Domenico Beccafumi, Parmigianino, and Marcantonio Raimondi, some of whom were also celebrated painters. In Renaissance society, which did not yet have illustrated magazines, television, or movies, prints provided visual stimuation. Less expensive than paintings, they served as storybooks, educational tools, entertainment, publicity, and objects of devotion. Some anticipated modern photographs by painstakingly reproducing famous paintings. In turn, the prints themselves often became a source for the makers of decorative arts objects, such as the maiolica that will be on view. Common themes, related forms, and shared artistic goals united these two forms of Renaissance art.

Exhibition Sponsor: Institute of Museum and Library Services
Fine Arts Fund Partner: Procter & Gamble

Marvels of Maiolica: Italian Renaissance Ceramics from the Corcoran Gallery of Art Collection
April 7–June 18, 2006
One of the most celebrated and collected traditions in the history of ceramics will be on display this spring. This exhibition will showcase 32 brightly colored and exquisitely designed objects including plates, dishes, apothecary jars, and devotional objects. Viewers can compare and contrast the Corcoran Gallery’s maiolica with that in the Taft’s own collection. It possesses a small, choice group of ornate and elaborate ceramics.

Exhibition Sponsors
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Kloenne Foundation
Media Partners: WGUC 90.9/WVXU 91.7
Fine Arts Fund Partner: Procter & Gamble

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