The Taft Museum of Art blog, Frame|Work, offers unique perspectives on the stories and people behind the Taft, its historic house, and the art and artifacts that leave us captivated. Immerse yourself in the Taft's history as we explore the past and preserve the treasures in our collection for centuries to come.
Discover new details and make new connections with the featured works of art by taking a “Closer Look” using the observation prompts that follow each description.
Explore a range of topics related to the museum’s permanent collection, temporary exhibitions, and the history of the Taft historic house.
Written by the museum's dedicated team, discover some of their favorite works in our collection, their passion projects, and their current research initiatives.
Guest authors provide deeper context to the art and history of the Taft with their insight, expertise, and diverse voices.
Women in the Taft Historic House
Anna Sinton Taft, the cofounder of the Taft Museum of Art, is undoubtedly the best-known woman to have lived in the Taft historic house. Most museum visitors know her name by the time they conclude their visit. Do you know the names of any other women who lived here? In commemoration of Women’s History Month, this post explores the lives of three lesser-known, yet equally remarkable women who walked the halls of the Taft historic house when it served as a family home.
The “Bee Hive of the Ohio Valley” | Shoemaking in Cincinnati
As it turns out, Cincinnati was one of the largest manufacturers of boots and shoes in the United States for much of the early 1900s. Factories in Boston, Lynn, and Haverhill, Massachusetts were the main centers of production, but they could not compete with Cincinnati when it came to making fine women’s shoes—in this category, the Queen City took the lead.
Fabulously Fierce Countdown | Curator Picks Go Toe-to-Toe For the #1 Spot
Curious what my favorite shoes are in our upcoming exhibition Walk This Way: Footwear from the Stuart Weitzman Collection of Historic Shoes? Here’s your chance to find out! Plus, you can learn a bit about what makes each pair special. We all know that objects tell stories, and, according to Stuart Weitzman, shoes in particular “tell an almost infinite number of stories.”
We reflect on an illustrated book commemorating the “Golden Wedding”—meaning the fiftieth wedding anniversary—of former Taft historic house residents Nicholas Longworth and Susan Howell Connor Longworth. The couple had lived in the Pike Street mansion for nearly thirty years by the time this merry event occurred. In the book, poems humorously recount short biographies of the bride and groom, how they met, and their nuptials on Christmas Eve in 1807, among other events.
Curating A Splendid Century
Three years ago, I was asked to put together an exhibition of Cincinnati art to celebrate the bicentennial of the Taft Museum of Art’s historic house. One of the first steps, of course, would be locating works of art that were beautiful, compelling, and rarely exhibited. One of the questions I often hear is, “How did you go about choosing the works for the exhibition?” Here I hope to shed some light on that process.
Belgian Royalty "Entranced" with Rookwood Pottery and its Connection to the Taft
What do the Taft Museum of Art and Rookwood Pottery have in common? More than you think. The answer to this question involves the granddaughter of Cincinnati’s first commercial winemaker, a collection of Chinese porcelain, and the “Soldier King” and “Red Cross Queen.” Intrigued?
Chinese Tea Culture
As I begin my thoughts about Chinese tea and its rich history, I start with a quote from the English playwright Arthur Pinero (1855–1934): “While there is tea, there is hope.” We can find hope in any number of places. In 1937 Lin Yutang wrote in his book The Importance of Living, “There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life.” I encourage you to try and find a moment of peace and hope in perhaps an unexpected place: a cup of tea.
"Excitement of the Quest"—A Neoclassical Vision
Did you know that 2020 marks the bicentennial of the Taft Museum of Art's historic house? Around 1820, a simple four-sided home was built for Martin Baum (1765–1831) and his wife, Ann Sommerville Wallace Baum (1782–1864), forming the core of what would become one of Cincinnati’s most historic buildings. With that, it seems only fitting that we explore the predominant style of the early 1800s: Neoclassicism—an artistic approach that embraced the ideas of ancient Greece and Rome.