View a selection of the images, special features, history, and virtual tours of past exhibitions once on view at the Taft Museum of Art.
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, employing 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.
This year, the Taft invited three local artists— Gabriela Falconi-Piedra, Pedro Moreno, and Fabiola Rodríguez Ornelas—to decorate a six-foot holiday tree in the museum’s Duncanson Foyer. The artists were born in Ecuador, Bolivia, and Mexico, respectively. Their installation features a fantastic array of paper and fabric birds, butterflies, and flowers, and a paper nest to explore the concepts of migration, belonging, and diversity.
The Taft collaborated on this project with Wave Pool Art Center’s Welcome Project, which seeks to empower Cincinnati’s refugee and immigrant population while connecting, assisting, and inspiring all through art and food.
Measuring 7 by 13 feet, this map was made in the mid-1700s, about fifty years before Jane Austen began writing her celebrated novels. While Austen’s stories take place mostly in the English countryside, this exhibition will illustrate London locations from both her fiction and her life. Journey past the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and St. Paul’s Cathedral—as well as through cow pastures, timber yards, and waterworks—as you trace your way through the metropolis and its environs. This massive work on paper represents a monumental achievement in cartography, or mapmaking. It also offers a rare opportunity to experience the history of one of the world’s great cities and its connections to one of the world’s great authors. Lent by the Estate of Sallie Robinson Wadsworth.
Jane Austen’s novels have been cherished by millions of readers for two hundred years. Her classic stories have reached many others as adaptations for the screen. Jane Austen: Fashion & Sensibility features approximately forty costumes and accessories worn in popular film and television productions. Drawn from the collection of award-winning British costume house Cosprop Ltd., these meticulously tailored ensembles will transport you to the Regency era through ball gowns, wedding dresses, day dresses, hats, jackets, waistcoats, riding habits, and other middle- and upper-class clothing. Fashion & Sensibility provides an unforgettable opportunity to see, up close, costumes worn by Hollywood celebrities including Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Judi Dench, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant. The exhibition brings to life beloved characters from Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Mansfield Park, while revealing powerful themes of class, gender, and social dynamics in Austen’s world.
Presented by Exhibits Development Group, USA, in cooperation with Cosprop Ltd., London, England
In 2021–22, the Taft Museum of Art partnered with GBBN Architects and HGC Construction to preserve the exterior of the Baum-Longworth-Sinton-Taft house, a National Historic Landmark. The house was built around 1820, making it downtown Cincinnati’s oldest wooden residence in its original location. Investigation prior to the project revealed significant water damage to the wooden siding and the structure beneath. In this small display, learn more about how the house has been preserved for future generations, and how the project will also help protect the art collection within.
In a New Light explores a broad range of eras, cultures, and art forms through their historical context, subject matter, materials, and makers. European decorative arts and Chinese porcelains dazzle the eye with their intricate designs and brilliant colors. Nineteenth-century American furniture impresses us with its stately elegance. European and American portraits and landscape paintings show off the mastery of some of the greatest artists of the past. Through select works, the exhibition reveals centuries-old social concerns such as the distribution of wealth, environmental destruction, and gender and racial inequality.
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, landscape paintings and 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.
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.
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.
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.