A Splendid Century: Cincinnati Art 1820–1920


June 13–August 30, 2020 |  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.

The Baum, Longworth, Sinton, and Taft families, who inhabited the house during this period, witnessed Cincinnati’s growth from a frontier outpost with few artistic opportunities into a hub of creative activity. This exhibition tells the story of Cincinnati art during their lifetimes through rarely seen works from local private collections and regional museums. Nicholas Longworth and Charles and Anna Taft were particularly active in fueling the city’s cultural development by supporting promising artists and arts institutions.

Paintings and sculptures by beloved Cincinnati artists Hiram Powers, Robert S. Duncanson, Elizabeth Nourse, Frank Duveneck, Henry Farny, Dixie Selden and others, as well as ceramics from Rookwood Pottery, create a picture of the city’s visual culture from the 1820s through the 1920s—the Golden Age of art in the Queen City.