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Rediscover the Taft's Past Exhibitions

View a selection of the images, special features, history, and virtual tours of past exhibitions once on view at the Taft Museum of Art.

Built to Last: The Taft Historic House at 200

July 10, 2020–June 6, 2021 |  Sinton Gallery

Explore the history of downtown Cincinnati’s oldest surviving wooden residence still in its original location. The Baum-Longworth-Sinton-Taft historic house turns 200 this year! Constructed around 1820 by entrepreneur Martin Baum, the National Historic Landmark became a public museum in 1932 to house the exceptional art collection of its final residents, Charles Phelps Taft and Anna Sinton Taft.

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Walk This Way: Footwear from the Stuart Weitzman Collection of Historic Shoes

February 27–June 6, 2021 |  Fifth Third Gallery

From silk boudoir shoes created for the 1867 Paris Exposition to leather spectator pumps signed by the 1941 New York Yankees, Walk This Way features more than 100 striking pairs of shoes. Organized by the New-York Historical Society, this exhibition presents footwear—spanning nearly 200 years—from the collection of high-fashion shoe designer Stuart Weitzman. Weitzman’s wife, businesswoman and philanthropist Jane Gershon Weitzman, formed and added to the collection as a gift to her husband over their 50 years of marriage.

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A Splendid Century: Cincinnati Art 1820–1920

October 3, 2020–January 24, 2021 | Fifth Third Gallery

Two hundred years ago, a grand white mansion was built on the eastern edge of Cincinnati. Over the first half of its life, the building housed some of the city’s most prominent families, finally becoming an art museum in 1932. A Splendid Century celebrates the bicentennial of the house that is now the Taft Museum of Art. The exhibition features Cincinnati art and artists spanning the first 100 years of the house’s existence.

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Joyful Expressions

November 27, 2020 – January 3, 2021 | Music Room

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. 

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Far Flung

May 2018–August 2020  |  Front Lawn

The Taft Museum of Art was home to a unique fantasy experience brought to life by world-renowned sculptor Patrick Dougherty. Dougherty took six tons of willow tree saplings and twisted and turned them—with the amazing help of more than 150 community volunteers—into whimsical, whirling shapes.

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N. C. Wyeth: New Perspectives

February 8–May 3, 2020  |  Fifth Third Gallery

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.

Journey to Freedom: Art Quilts by Cynthia Lockhart

December 13, 2019–March 15, 2020  |  Sinton Gallery

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 Poetry of Nature: Hudson River School Landscapes from the New-York Historical Society

October 5, 2019–January 12, 2020  |  Fifth Third Gallery

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.

Antique Christmas

November 8, 2019–January 5, 2020  |  Baum-Longworth-Sinton-Taft House

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.

Fearful Symmetry: A Multimedia Installation by Alice Pixley Young

August 30–December 1, 2019  |  Sinton Gallery

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.

L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters

June 8, 2019–September 15, 2019  |  Fifth Third Gallery

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.

Magic & Melodrama: Cincinnati Posters from the Gilded Age

May 3–August 18, 2019  |  Sinton Gallery

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: American Paintings from The Phillips Collection

February 9–May 19, 2019  |  Fifth Third Gallery

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.

Travels with Turner: Watercolors from the Taft Collection

January 18–April 14, 2019  |  Sinton Gallery

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.

Paris to New York: Photographs by Berenice Abbott and Eugène Atget

October 6, 2018–January 20, 2019  |  Fifth Third Gallery

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: running with freedom

July 13–October 21, 2018  |  Sinton Gallery and Longworth Foyer

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.

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