Every year, audiences look forward to creatively inspired holiday decorations at the Taft with ties to heritage and traditions. This year award-winning fiber artist, Cynthia Lockhart, is helping ensure this tradition lives on while embracing the creation of new ways to spark holiday joy in a difficult year.
This exhibition showcases the work of N. C. Wyeth (1882–1945), the patriarch of one of America’s most prominent artistic families. Co-organized by the Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania and the Portland Museum of Art in Maine, this exhibition brings together approximately 50 large-scale paintings spanning several decades. Many of Wyeth’s grand images bring to life stories in Treasure Island, The Last of the Mohicans, The Boy’s King Arthur, and Rip Van Winkle. However, Wyeth deserves much greater appreciation for his little-known fine art paintings. New Perspectives revises his reputation by also highlighting his private work.
Cynthia Lockhart’s textile creations invite viewers to embark on a journey of discovery. Composed of colorful fabrics arranged in dynamic patterns, her fiber art tells a story—one that encourages people to more deeply understand the diversity of people, cultures, and beauty in the world around them. Lockhart’s exhibition, Journey to Freedom, tells heroic and joyful stories of her ancestors, celebrating a strong people who endured many injustices. The works in the show also pose questions about the perceptions of freedom in America. Lockhart hopes that her art serves as a catalyst for individuals to continue to be inspired to dream, dance, sing, and shout their way forward to unbounded possibilities of freedom.
The paintings in The Poetry of Nature reveal the natural wonders that sparked the first artistic movement in the United States. Sketching outdoors and composing their ideal visions of the landscape in their studios, these artists filled their canvases with majestic mountains, tranquil valleys, enchanting forests, shimmering lakes, and luminous skies. Works by well-known artists including Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, Jasper Francis Cropsey, and Sanford Robinson Gifford join lesser-known gems by Louisa Davis Minot and William Louis Sonntag—who began his career in Cincinnati—to paint a picture of America’s promise embodied in landscape.
Enjoy a glimpse of Christmas past at the Taft Museum of Art’s annual exhibition of holiday treasures. Visitors will find beautiful decorations throughout the historic house, thanks to generous collectors from Cincinnati and beyond. This year, guests can expect a number of new and exciting displays, including several feather trees with decorations ranging from vintage Disney ornaments to characters from German fairy tales. Figures of the jolly old elf will also be on view under a large tree adorned with antique paper, chenille, and glass ornaments.
Multimedia artist Alice Pixley Young’s immersive installations bring together a wide range of materials including cut paper, cast glass, ash, and salt, intermingled with video projections, sound, light, and shadow. Her work invokes 19th-century landscape traditions while examining environmental change in today’s natural world.
Meant to stop people in their tracks with bold colors and seductive imagery, French advertising posters of the turn of the 20th century ultimately became highly collectible works of art. L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters presents the work of five innovative artists: Jules Chéret, Eugène Grasset, Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, Alphonse Mucha, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
At the turn of the 20th century, traveling actors, illusionists, and theatrical producers promoted live performances with brilliantly colored printed outdoor advertisements. This exhibition features seven theater posters from the collection of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.
Winslow Homer to Georgia O’Keeffe traces a century of the modern creative spirit in the United States, ranging from realistic landscapes to bold abstract forms. Fifty-five works by American masters—including Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Helen Frankenthaler—span the 1860s through the 1960s.
Follow nineteenth-century British painter J. M. W. Turner on his travels throughout the United Kingdom and Europe—through his watercolors and an interactive digital map. This exhibition of the Taft Museum of Art’s ten watercolors by Turner focuses on the places he painted, including dramatic landscapes from Switzerland, Germany, France, England, Scotland, and Italy.
In Paris in the 1920s, the young American photographer Berenice Abbott (1898–1991) encountered the elderly French photographer Eugène Atget (1857–1927). Their contact would have profound and lasting effects on the careers and legacies of both artists. Through a sequence of riveting and often iconic images, the exhibition elaborates the relationship between Abbott’s and Atget’s photography.
Vanessa German empowers people through visual art and performance. German’s mixed-media sculptures and reliefs will be featured as part of the Duncanson Artist-in-Residence Program. Constructed from found objects including doll parts, antique tins, beads, household items, and other cast-off relics, her “power figures” evoke folk art traditions, religious icons, and African nkisi nkondi—ritual figures carved from wood to embody mystical forces.