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Taft Museum Of Art Cincinnati

At The Taftart And History Come To Life In Ways You Won’t Find Anywhere Else

Wyeth exhibit opens at Taft Museum

Tucked away in downtown Cincinnati, the Taft Museum of Art is a living landmark where art and history live on the wallsand in the walls. Built around 1820 as a private home for several of Cincinnati’s most prominent citizens, the Taft Museum of Art is now one of the finest small art museums in America and holds National Historic Landmark status for its historic house and Duncanson murals.

Here, youll find gems of history nestled into every nook and cranny in our period-inspired roomseach their own canvas of creativitythat surrounds you in stories that have endured for generations. Our 200-year-old house holds an extensive collection of European and American masterworks, 17th to 19th century watches, Chinese porcelains, and French Renaissance enamels. The collection features iconic artists including Rembrandt, Hals, Goya, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Turner, Ingres, Whistler, and Sargent, as well as 19th-century American furniture and the most significant pre-Civil War domestic murals in the United States.

Throughout our grounds, guests can enjoy special exhibitions, the historic outdoor garden, our Museum Shop and Lindner Family Café, events and programming for all ages, and complimentary on-site parking. It is all under one roof, culminating in a one-of-a-kind, multi-sensory experience that puts you at the center of art and history.

Our Mission

To create meaningful experiences by connecting people with great art, both in a historic setting and in the community.


Taft Museum Of Art Virtual Tour

The Taft Museum of Art is housed in the 200-year-old historic house that is the oldest residential wooden structure in downtown Cincinnati. It was built about 1820 and housed several prominent Cincinnatians. Today it holds a fine art collection.

President William H. Taft accepted his presidential nomination on the porch of this house in 1908. The Taft family later bequeathed their home and their art collection to the people of Cincinnati in 1927.

The Tafts deed stated:

We desire to devote our collection of pictures, porcelains, and other works of art to the people of Cincinnati in such a manner that they may be readily available for all.

The Taft Museum opened in 1932, and todays collections include European old master paintings, 19th-century American paintings, and the Duncanson murals.

The exhibits also include Chinese porcelains, European decorative arts, Limoges enamels, watches, sculptures, and furniture.

Portrait of Robert Louis Stevenson by John Singer Sargent

Fashion In Film: Period Costumes For The Screen At The Taft Museum Of Art Will Charm With Its Decadent Designs But There Is More To The Exhibit Than Simple Ornament Costume Design Has Rightfully Found A New Home In Art Museums Though It Is Easier To D

ByLaura Leffler onTue, Jan 27, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Patrons of the Taft Museum of Art know it to be a rare kind of historical document: Furniture, artwork and architecture from an earlier era summon an aura of rigid manors, ladies teas and regency gowns. In that respect, it is not surprising that the Taft would aim its curatorial eye on the traveling exhibition, Fashion in Film: Period Costumes for the Screen.

Brought together by the Trust for Museum Exhibitions in Washington, D.C., the exhibition makes its debut in Cincinnati. Visitors will doubtlessly be charmed by the decadent designs, but there is more here than simple ornament namely, there is the merging of the Taft home and the film costumes as artifacts and re-creations of a bygone era.

Costume design has rightfully found a new home in art museums. Though it is easier to dismiss such items as make-believe, seeing them in person reveals an unimaginable skill in design, composition, craftsmanship and technique, as well as a profound understanding of dress as a part of life. Perhaps because of this newfound interest in fashion-as-art we are now interested in learning more about the process of design just look at the popularity of Project Runway.

Read more about the exhibit here.

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Industrial Development And Gilded Age

Cincinnati’s location, on the border between the free state of Ohio and the slave state of Kentucky, made it a prominent location for slaves to escape the slave-owning south. Many prominent abolitionists also called Cincinnati their home during this period, and made it a popular stop on the . In 2004, the was completed along Freedom Way in Downtown, honoring the city’s involvement in the Underground Railroad.

In 1859, Cincinnati laid out six streetcar lines the cars were and the lines made it easier for people to get around the city. By 1872, Cincinnatians could travel on the streetcars within the city and transfer to rail cars for travel to the hill communities. The Cincinnati Inclined Plane Company began transporting people to the top of Mount Auburn that year. In 1889, the began converting its horse-drawn cars to .

In 1880 the city government completed the to . It is the only municipally-owned interstate railway in the United States.

In 1884 outrage over a verdict in what many observers thought was a clear case of murder triggered the , one of the most destructive riots in American history. Over the course of three days, 56 people were killed and over 300 were injured. The riots ended the regime of political bosses and in Cincinnati.

History Of The Taft Museum Of Art

Free Things to Do in Cincinnati, Ohio

The Taft Museum both the art and the building have a remarkable history. While William Howard Taft is the most famous member of the wealthy and powerful Taft family, the house was actually home of Williams half-brother, Charles Taft. Before the Tafts, the home was owned by a whos who of the richest, most powerful people in Cincinnatis history.

The mansion was built in 1820, by Martin Baum, an early mayor of the city, making it one of the oldest structures still standing in Cincinnati. Later owners include Nicholas Longworth, patriarch of the Longworth family and founder of the American wine industry, and then David Sinton, a pig-iron industrialist who was at the time one of the wealthiest men in America. Sintons only surviving child, Anna, married Charles Taft, and in fact it is Annas inherited wealth, rather than Taft industriousness, which built the art collection that was deeded to the city to be a public art museum that we now know as the Taft Museum of Art.


Taft Museum of Art Website

316 Pike St.

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Taft Museum Of Art Cincinnati

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Cincinnati. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app “GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities” from iTunes App Store or . The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

During The Great Depression

An early rejuvenation of downtown began in the 1920s and continued into the next decade with the construction of , the post office, and the large . Cincinnati weathered the better than most American cities of its size, largely due to a resurgence in river trade, which was less expensive than transporting goods by rail. The was one of the worst in the nation’s history and destroyed many areas along the . Afterward the city built protective .

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Wedding Pricing For The Taft

The museum is a higher end venue. The Garden Tent rental is $5,000, and the Luther Room is $1,750. On-site ceremonies are $1,250, and include set up, breakdown and rehearsal hours. Rentals include an onsite coordinator, tables, chairs, and for the tent, heaters, fans, and lighting.

Seven caterers are available to choose from, including catering by the museum itself Beverage packages must be arranged through the venue. A select number of decorating, lighting, and other rental service companies are listed as preferred vendors.

If Walls Could Talkours Would Never Stop

âEdifying Power of Artâ?

The Taft Museum of Art is one of the finest small art museums in America. Built around 1820, it is a National Historic Landmark, downtown Cincinnatis oldest wooden residence still in its original location. The house was the home of several prominent Cincinnatians, including Martin Baum, Nicholas Longworth, David Sinton, Anna Sinton Taft, and Charles Phelps Taft.

The house was built around 1820 by Martin Baum, an early Cincinnati businessman, and purchased in 1830 by Nicholas Longworth. Longworth extensively redecorated the interiors and hired African American artist Robert S. Duncanson to paint eight landscape murals, which are now recognized as the most significant preCivil War domestic murals in the United States. The Duncanson murals are one of the Tafts largest works of art, second only to the historic house itself.

In 1932, the home opened as the Taft Museum of Art. In 1976, the house was designated a National Historic Landmark. Between 2001 and 2004, the Taft was renovated and expanded to include a special exhibition gallery, classroom, lecture hall, café, shop, and new work spaces.

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Bring The Taft Home With You

Highlights from the Collection Catalog

Highlights from the Collection published by D Giles Limited, is available in the Museum Shop online and in-store. The volume presents highlights from the Taft Museum of Arts exceptional collection, which spans over 750 years of creative endeavor. Donated to the city of Cincinnati in 1927, Charles and Anna Tafts collection features porcelain from the Ming and Qing dynasties, paintings by masters including Rembrandt, Jan Steen, Gainsborough, Goya, Ingres, Corot, Whistler, and Sargent, and decorative works of art, including enamels, ceramics, and metalwork. The 80 pieces featured in this volume, chosen from the 790-piece collection, are presented in four sections, coinciding with the museums major areas of specialization: European painting, European decorative arts, American art, and Chinese art.

Each piece is accompanied by an entry detailing its history and that of its artist or maker, written by Taft curatorial staff. Former Taft chief curator Lynne D. Ambrosinis essay explores the collecting practice of Charles and Anna Taft, including the inspiration they derived for their own collecting from visits to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Museum director Deborah Emont Scotts foreword provides a history of the Taft bequest and its lasting significance to the city of Cincinnati and its present-day inhabitants.

Highlights Of The Taft Museum Of Art

  • Frank Duveneck, The Cobblers Apprentice
  • Rembrandt van Rijn, Portrait of a Man Rising from His Chair
  • J. M. W. Turner, Europa, and the Bull
  • Virgin and Child, from Paris, Abbey of Saint-Denis,
  • Frans Hals, Portrait of Seated Man Holding Hat.
  • Joaquin Sorolla, Portrait of Mr. Taft, President of the United States
  • James Abbott McNeill Whistler, At the Piano

The Whale on Shore by Joseph Mallord William Turner

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Borrowed Gems From The Taft Museum Of Art


Open July 23, 2021 to February 21, 2022

Entry: Free and open to the public| Location: Union Terminal

47 artworks from some of the greatest European artists of the past

Borrowed Gems from the Taft Museum of Art showcases the collection of Charles Phelps and Anna Sinton Taft, displaying 47 artworks from some of the greatest European artists of the past. Among the featured artworks are masterpieces from Thomas Gainsborough, J.M.W. Turner, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Charles François Daubigny. Also on display are decorative arts featuring Qing dynasty Chinese ceramics and 18th-century watches.

As the Taft Museum of Art embarks on the restoration of their 200-year-old historic house, they have entrusted Cincinnati Museum Center to care for and display nearly 50 artworks from their collection. Organized by subject matter, Borrowed Gems shows the full range of paintings collected by the Tafts. The couple enjoyed collecting portraits, scenes from daily life and landscapes that could also serve as educational models for artists working in Cincinnati who would look at, and even copy, works by masters of the past.

Borrowed Gems from the Taft Museum of Art is free and open to the public.

Visit Us In A New Light

Taft Museum of Art

Join us FridaysSundays! Our special bicentennial exhibition In a New Lightis now open. Please note that the Taft historic house is temporarily inaccessible.COVID-19 Safety Requirements: At admissions, guests ages 12+ are required to provide certification of full vaccination or negative COVID test within 72 hours . Learn more here.

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