Taft-Duncanson murals

Adopt-the-Murals Giving Challenge

The Taft Museum of Art launched its first-ever crowd-funding campaign, including a matching donor, with the opportunity to ‘adopt’ the world-famous Duncanson murals in December 2019. The Taft’s ‘Adopt-the-Murals Giving Challenge’ debuted publicly on December 2 at 5p.m. EST across the museum’s social and digital platforms, the evening before Giving Tuesday, a global initiative inspiring people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. The ‘Adopt-the-Murals Giving Challenge’ also ran in partnership with 2019’s Cincinnati Gives Challenge, a friendly fundraising competition where local nonprofits compete to raise the most money for their cause, running December 2, 5p.m. EST through December 12, 5p.m. EST.

Looking to its ‘Adopt-an-Artwork’ program as inspiration, the Taft is offered a unique chance to crowd-fund support for the Taft and the historic Duncanson murals ahead of the historic house’s 200th anniversary year in 2020. The first African American artist to achieve international acclaim, Robert S. Duncanson (1821-1872), painted this series of eight large-scale landscapes, approximately 9 by 6 ½ feet, directly on the plaster walls of the home of art patron Nicholas Longworth. They are now recognized as the most significant pre–Civil War domestic murals in the United States and are one of the Taft’s largest pieces of artwork, only second to the house itself.

During the length of the ‘Adopt-the-Murals Giving Challenge,’ Board of Directors member and annual Adopt-an-Artwork donor, Shannon Carter, matched up to $5,000 for any crowd-funded donations made—in any installment. Carter annually adopts the Taft’s famous Portrait of a Man Rising from His Chair, an important early painting by Rembrandt and one of only three oil paintings by the artist in Ohio museums. As with all adopted Taft artworks, those who donated to this giving challenge will be recognized for their combined contributions within the museum as the inaugural ‘Adopt-the-Murals Crowd-Funding Donors.”

Thank you to all who contributed:

  • Ron Bates
  • Douglas Blazer—dedicated to Jean Blazer Curtis
  • Kathleen Brinkman—In honor of Jean Feinberg
  • Cheryl Brockman
  • Susan Cassidy DePalva—Dedicated to my parents
  • Chris Cox
  • Charles Curran
  • Shannon Disbennett—Dedicated to my 3 fabulous coworkers-Happy Holidays!!
  • Cynthia Duval
  • Booone Ebel
  • Val Ebel and Jason Bullock—On behalf of Squirrel
  • Spencer mapes
  • Ali Margello
  • Molly Moloney
  • Beth Palm
  • Mark Patsfall
  • Sara Pearce—In memory of my mother and father who gave me a lifelong appreciation for art and craft
  • Linda Roberts—Dedicated to Jane Felson Bronw
  • Maria Saldivar—In honor of Cheri Klink
  • Heather Schreck—In honor of Don Volland
  • Patricia Schwartz—Dedicated to Ruthie Newcomer, my world-traveling art-loving friend!
  • Deborah Emont Scott—In honor of the staff of the Taft Museum of Art
  • Vaishali Shah—Dedicated to my fabulous colleagues at the Taft Museum!
  • Betsy and Paul Sittenfeld—Dedicated to Deborah Emont Scott
  • Ellen Stedtefeld
  • Diane Stemper—Dedicated to our two wonderful sons
  • Brittany Vernon


Learn more about Adopt-an-Artwork:

Adopt-an-Artwork is a program that has historically been given to Leadership Level donors of the Taft Museum of Art, providing them with the opportunity to support the Museum and be recognized as a donor with museum label recognition next to the Museum’s permanent collection pieces.


Discover ways to give to the Taft:

Jen Horvath
Director of Development
(513) 684-4527