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Craft and Camera: The Art of Nancy Ford Cones

October 1, 2022–January 15, 2023 | Fifth Third Gallery

For more than forty years, on a small riverside farm in Loveland, Ohio, Nancy Ford Cones created photographs that earned her a national reputation during a time when female artists continued to struggle for recognition. Despite the praise they received during her lifetime, Cones’s imaginative and exquisitely crafted works were largely forgotten after her death. This exhibition resurrects the gifted artist’s career and contributions to the field of photography.

Between about 1900 and 1939, Cones made thousands of photographs that featured country life, fantastical visions, and literary characters. To create her images, she employed the help of neighbors, friends, and family who posed in costume around the farm and its environs. Working in partnership with her husband James, who printed her work using a variety of techniques and papers, Cones conceived evocative subjects that emulated 19th-century European paintings.

Nancy Ford Cones' photographs were published in prestigious journals such as Camera Craft, as well as in popular outlets that included National Geographic magazine and Kodak advertisements. The first major presentation of Cones’ work, this exhibition and its accompanying catalog will demonstrate that “the Lady from Loveland” was an exceptional artist who rivaled the top photographers of her time.

Admission is free for Taft Museum of Art members, active military, youth (18 and under), and to FotoFocus Passport holders during the month of October; $12 for adults; $10 for seniors (non-members save $2 by purchasing tickets online). Sundays are FREE!


Exhibition Sponsors

The Kaplan Foundation


Exhibition Support Generously Provided by

Ellen and George Rieveschl Endowment

Warrington Exhibition Endowment

Chellgren Family Endowment

Sallie Robinson Wadsworth Endowment for Exhibitions


This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit

Craft and Camera: The Art of Nancy Ford Cones is part of the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial.  

The 2022 FotoFocus Biennial, now in its sixth iteration, activates over 100 projects at museums, galleries, universities, and public spaces throughout Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, Dayton and Columbus, Ohio in October 2022. Each Biennial is structured around a unifying theme; for 2022 that theme, World Record, considers photography’s extensive record of life on earth while exploring humankind’s impact on the natural world. FotoFocus welcomes global artists, curators, critics, educators, and regional visitors to Cincinnati with exhibitions, talks, performances, screenings, and panel discussions during an expanded week of programming, September 29–October 8, 2022.

The 2022 theme, World Record, considers photography’s extensive record of life on earth while exploring humankind’s impact on the natural world

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