1985-1990 Exhibitions

Past Exhibitions, 1985–1990

Little Things in a Big Way
November 16, 1984–January 6, 1985
This holiday exhibition featured period rooms, miniature shops and buildings from the collections of the Miniature Society of Cincinnati and affiliates of the National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts.

Kenneth Snelson
February 1–March 17, 1985

A widely known sculptor, Snelson exhibited 40 black-and-white and color panoramic photographs taken in the United States and Europe since 1975, ranging in size from 19″ to 100″ long. (Catalogue)

Nature by Design: Spring Grove Photographs bv Alan Ward
March 23–April 21, 1985

Contemporary and archival images of Cincinnati’s Spring Grove Cemetery emphasized its importance as an historic landscape and examined its relationship to the Garden Cemetery Movement of the mid-nineteenth century and its impact on landscape design in the United States.

David Black, An American Sculptor
July 7–August 31, 1985

The exhibition included 31 pieces, both outdoor and indoor sculpture, models in wood and foam core, and photographs installed in the Taft Museum and Lytle Park. Black’s sculptures emphasize linear form, transparent planes, and the effects of light. (Catalogue)

Night Lights
May 2–June 30, 1985

Twenty-seven 19th and 20th century American nocturne paintings by 26 artists, organized by Heather Hallenberg. (Catalogue)

Masterpieces of Time: Wendell Castle’s Long Case Clocks and Fine Furniture
September 12–October 27, 1985

Organized by Director Ruth K. Meyer, this exhibition included longcase clocks and furniture by the contemporary artist. (Catalogue)

A Fortune in Fantasy
November 21, 1985–January 19, 1986

A cross section of Westem decorative arts was selected from various museums, galleries, and private collections in the United States as well as the Taft’s permanent collection. Ninety-four pieces of ceramics, gems, glass, metalwork, enamel, silver, stone, textiles/costume accessories, and wood complemented the Taft’s own collections of rock crystal, maiolica, Renaissance jewelry, and objects d’art. (Catalogue)

Vestal Vases: A New Series of Paintings by Sandy Rosen
April 4–June 1, 1986
The eight paintings in this exhibition were made almost simultaneously in 1985. All are constructed on wooden panels and most are leaned against the wall, not hung on it. The recurring motifs of ginkgo leaf, vase, and drapery are Rosen’s personal images of feminine paraphernalia and presence. Fan shapes, womb symbols, and filmy apparel are given a new hieraticism that summons the antique sources in which they first appeared.

Ohio Sculpture II: Barry Gunderson
June 29–August 24, 1986

Gunderson described his submitted work as “free standing, abstract animal and serpentine forms, boldly patterned in a vivid assemblage of line and color.” Gunderson brings the naturalist’s mind to his sculpture. Seven “creatures” premiered on the Taft’s front lawn, grazing the ginkgo trees; several more sculptures were installed in the Garden Gallery. (Catalogue)

J. M. W. Turner: The Foundations of Genius
September 19–November 2, 1986
Drawing on the resources of five museums in the United States and England, this exhibition 60 watercolors presented a survey of Tumer’s watercolors that demonstrated the origins, development, and maturation of his skill. (Catalogue)

Toys in the Life of the Early American Child
November 20, 1986–January 11, 1987

This exhibition contained a selection of nearly 200 objects by, for, and about children. This exhibition also featured early American portrait paintings illustrating children holding their favorite possessions accompanied by an array of handcrafted playthings. Many of the toys date from the period of the construction of the Baum-Longworth-Taft House in about 1820. This exhibition included loans from the collections of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center and Gunston Hall Plantation, Virginia; and members of the Ohio Folk Art Society.

Photographing the American Presidency
January 18–February 22, 1987

This exhibition, organized by the George Eastman House, Rochester, New York, included 50 formal and informal likenesses of the United States presidents, beginning with John Quincy Adams, the 6th president, and concluding with Ronald Reagan. Aphotograph of William Howard Taft, the 27th president who accepted the nomination for the position from the front steps of the Taft Museum, was included.

Skating in the Arts of 17th-Century Holland
March 5–April 14, 1987

This exhibition featured loans from sixteen public and private collections. The exhibition was timed to be a special artistic salute to the World Figure Skating Championships that were held in Cincinnati in March 1987. (Click here to purchase catalogue – limited availability)

Sculpture by Louise Bourgeois
May 5–June 28, 1987

This exhibition consisted of 25 sculptures in bronze, marble, latex rubber, and wood. The works varied in scale from small bronzes and marbles that could be cradled in the hands to the immensity of Shredder, a mechanistic nightmare vision of ultimate destructive powers. This exhibition surveyed the artist’s sculpture dating from 1981 to 1986. (Catalogue)

July 23–August 31, 1987

This exhibition coincided with the first annual meeting of the Enamelist Society, a worldwide association of contemporary enamelists who visited Cincinnati in August 1987. This special exhibition of 70 museum-quality enamels by 23 of North America’s leading enamelists was developed to complement the museum’s collection of Limoges enamels.

Paul Ashbrook
September 10–October 25, 1987

This exhibition commemorated the centennial of the Art Academy of Cincinnati and included 47 oil paintings, watercolors, drawings, and etchings executed during the artist’s career in Cincinnati and abroad. (Catalogue)

(Greater) Cincinnati Collects Christmas
November 12, 1987–January 10, 1988

This exhibition explored the roots of the Christmas celebration including special ornaments, gift giving, and hospitality extending back to pagan festivals marking the winter solstice. Traditions including Santa Claus, Christmas cards, and Christmas trees that became popular in America during the 19th century were recreated utilizing authentic ornaments and keepsakes from Cincinnati collections.

Nicholas Longworth: Art Patron of Cincinnati
February 4–March 20, 1988
This exhibition included 24 oil paintings and sculptures by 10 artists whom Longworth assisted either directly or indirectly. Featured in the exhibition is the Bust of Nicholas Longworth (1837), which complemented the busts in the Taft Museum of Anna Sinton, David Sinton, and Alphonoso Taft, all executed by Hiram Powers.

Framework of the Frontier: Early Cincinnati Architecture and the Baum-Longworth-Taft House
April 9–July 4, 1988
Co-sponsored by the Cincinnati Historical Society and designated a bicentennial event by the Greater Cincinnati Bicentennial Commission, this exhibition was designed for family enjoyment. It offered an opportunity to illuminate the rich history of the Baum-Longworth-Taft House and its surroundings and assisted in the development of a public awareness and appreciation of Cincinnati’s manmade environment.

China in 1700: Kangxi Porcelains at the Taft Museum
September 8–October 23, 1988

Sixty porcelains from the museum’s collection were removed from their cases in the permanent galleries and displayed in the Garden Gallery. These porcelains were interpreted regarding their place in the social and political history of the early 18th century. Complementary works were generously loaned by several other museums. (Catalogue)

A Christmas in Naples
November 20, 1988–January 8, 1989
This exhibition presented a presepio–a collection of figures and ornamental accessories that depicted the events of the birth of Christ in a landscape setting. Sculptor Theodore Gantz created and constructed an elaborate 18 by 30 foot landscape setting that featured a scale-model Italian street scene, architectural ruins, mountain landscape, fountains, and streams. A background vista of the Bay of Naples was painted by University of Cincinnati painting professor John Stewart.

Chinese Folk Art
February 5–March 26, 1989
This exhibition presented more than 75 Chinese folk art objects dating from the 18th through 20th centuries. Collected during the extensive travels of Nancy Zeng Berliner and Zeng Xiao Jun in China, the objects were based on both figurative and abstract designs. This selection included leather shadow puppets, paper cutouts, stuffed painted silk hangings, embroidered garments, batik quilt covers, and woodblock prints. This exhibition welcomed the celebration of the Chinese New Year, year of the snake. (Catalogue)

At the Table
May 4–June 25, 1989
This exhibition displayed nineteen paintings ranging from mid-19th century to contemporary works, each containing a table as a narrative or compositional focus. The assembled paintings complement six domestic interiors in the Taft permanent collections by Dutch and French 17th- and 19th-century painters including Steen, Ter Borch, De Hooch, Van Ostage, Meissonier, and Israels. Included in the exhibition were paintings from the major stylistic periods in the history of American art. A photographic essay accompanied the exhibition investigating the origins of the tableau setting found in ancient Egyptian and Roman art and early Christian religious art.

Fired with Enthusiasm
July 14–August 28, 1989
This exhibition of contemporary soup tureens, organized by the Campbell Museum, Camden, New Jersey, commemorated Bastille Day and the bicentennial year of the French Revolution. This exhibition featured both functional and nonfunctional soup tureens made by contemporary artists who were invited to participate by the Campbell Museum. This invitational exhibition allowed the artists to use a traditional idea to display their own skills and individual interpretations.

The Artist Face-to-Face: Two Centuries of Self-Portraits from the Paris Collection of Gerald Schurr
September 15–October 27, 1989

This exhibition continued the celebration of the bicentennial of the French Revolution and served to introduce artists of France. This exhibition focused on the petite maitres, the little masters who worked primarily in France and whose contributions to art are long forgotten or largely unheralded: the illustrators, poster designers, engravers, sculptors, poets, and “other” impressionists, expressionists, surrealists, and so on. The works ranged from tiny sketches and portrait miniatures to elaborately illustrated letters, drawings, and large-scale oil paintings and likewise spanning two hundred years of style and experimentation. (Click here to purchase catalogue)

Tyrone Geter: Images of Africa and Recent Works
November 3–December 1, 1989

Tyrone Geter, Duncanson Artist-in-Residence, was born in Alabama, received his early art education in the Dayton public schools, and received BFA and MFA degrees from Ohio University at Athens. Because of the sense of commitment and responsibility he feels toward African Americans and the problems they face in today’s society, Geter concentrates his art on a study of the positive values of his experience. He consistently studied oil painting techniques and has paid particular attention to the paintings of John Singer Sargent, from which he has gleaned many ideas for compositional arrangements of figures observed in his daily life. (Catalogue)

The Historic Interior in Miniature
December 12, 1989–February 9, 1990

Sixteen period rooms and five houses as well as miniature furniture and decorative arts objects from the collections of members of the Miniature Society of Cincinnati were selected to underline the Taft Museum’s history as a residence from 1820 to 1932. This exhibition traced the evolution of interior design in America from the 18th century and provided a history in miniature of the styles that have graced the Taft home over the years. All the period rooms were made on the usual scale of one inch to one foot.

NCECA Juried Members ‘ Exhibition
February 25–April l, 1990
This exhibition was organized by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Artsl founded in 1966 by teachers, artists, potters, collectors, manufacturers, students, and others whose primary interest is ceramics; and coincided with their annual conference in Cincinnati.

The History of Travel: Paintings by William Wegman
April 19–June 24, 1990
This was Wegman’s first solo museum exhibition of this body of work. The fifteen paintings on view presented a concise survey of his art from the last five years. He is best known as a conceptual artist and photographer of his dogs. His earliest paintings are small and anecdotal. He moved on to larger canvases stained and marked with allegorical images, which have their root in the pictures found in a 1950s set of children’s encyclopedias. (Catalogue)

Patterns in a Revolution: French Printed Textiles, 1759-1821
July 14–August 26, 1990
This exhibition continued the celebration of the Bicentennial of the French Revolution. These French textiles came from the collections of the Baltimore Museum of Art, Cincinnati Art Museum, Taft Museum, and several private lenders. Of all the producers of printed textiles in France, the most influential and celebrated was Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf. More than half of the 20 toiles that made up this exhibition were designed by Jean-Baptiste Huet, Oberkampf factories chief designer from 1783 until his death in 1811. (Click here to purchase catalogue – limited availability)

Fin de Siecle Prints, Posters & Prose: The Collection of Erwin Raible and Robert Hoskins
September 14–October 21, 1990
This connoisseur’s collection of graphic arts for the cabaret, the literary review, and the street corner produced in Paris at the turn of the century featured such artists as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Edouard Vuillard, and Pierre Bonnard along with works by lesser known artists of the time: Metivet, Grun, Ibels, Steinlen, Cheret, and others. (Click here to purchase catalogue – limited availability)

All Seasons and Every Light: Nineteenth Century American Landscapes from the Collection of Elias Lyman Magoon
November 3–30, 1990
The 47 paintings in this exhibition served as a document of mid-19th-century connoisseurship, reflecting the changing aesthetic of American artists from European standards of taste to an examination of their own surroundings and the creation of a native culture. Magoon was one of the early collector-patrons who viewed the unspoiled natural surroundings of the New World as a substitute for the boundless European treasuries of artworks and antiquities. Magoon and Longworth shared the belief that the study of Old Master works was essential in the training of an artist. (Catalogue)