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.
In The Inside Story (previously titled Collection Connection), Taft staff explore a range of topics related to the museum’s permanent collection, temporary exhibitions, and the history of the Taft house. This series of articles was originally published in Portico, the Taft’s members’ magazine.
Written by our curatorial team, who share with viewers some of their favorite works in our collection, their passion projects, and their current research initiatives.
Cincinnati and the Tafts in the 1880s
In 1888, the city celebrated its 100th birthday with the Centennial Exposition, held in Music Hall and in two temporary structures built especially for the occasion. In that year, at least 6,000 manufacturers in the city employed 93,500 workers. Cincinnati was a world leader in soap production, carriage manufacturing, beer brewing, whiskey distilling, and lithographic printing. In Over-the-Rhine, hundreds of small businesses flourished, each employing a handful of skilled craftsmen who made fine products—including musical instruments, wood carvings, and blown glass—many in the space of their own homes. The city had also become a center for the arts and art education.