In 1927, Charles Phelps Taft and Anna Sinton Taft bequeathed their art collection and home to the people of Cincinnati “in such a manner that they may be readily available to all.” The Taft Museum of Art opened to the public in 1932. Ever since, the collection the Tafts lovingly assembled has been displayed throughout their former home, an architectural gem built around 1820. While the historic house undergoes a major renovation, making part of it inaccessible to the public, the Taft Museum of Art shares more than 40 works of art with audiences at the Cincinnati Museum Center. Borrowed Gems tells the story of the Tafts’ collection and its impact on the Cincinnati community. Portraits and landscape paintings show off the mastery of some of the greatest artists of the past, while exquisite works of decorative art reveal how the collection inspired Cincinnati artisans to create beautiful objects of their own. Through their vision as art collectors and philanthropists, Charles and Anna Taft left a legacy that continues to inspire each generation anew.
Audiences can explore the historic house and its esteemed artworks as they appeared prior to renovation efforts in our virtual self-guided tour. Several of the works displayed in the virtual tour are also now on view within In a New Light: Treasures from the Taft and Borrowed Gems from the Taft Museum of Art.