Duncanson Society

The Robert S. Duncanson Society was originated in 1986 by Doris Rankin Sells, William Joel McCray, and Ruth K. Meyer to affirm an ongoing African American presence within the structure of the Taft Museum of Art and to celebrate Robert S. Duncanson‘s historic and artistic contributions.

To honor the relationship that was established between Duncanson and Longworth—artist and patron—the Taft Museum of Art annually recognizes the achievements of contemporary African American artists through the Duncanson Artist-in-Residence Program.

Duncanson painted the murals that adorn the walls at 316 Pike Street, which at that time belonged to Nicholas Longworth. To this day they constitute one of the largest existing pre-Civil War domestic mural decorations in the United States.