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  • Taft Museum of Art Taft Museum of Art Cincinnati, Ohio
    The Taft Museum of Art is contained in the former house of Martin Baum, who built it in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio in 1820. Then it belonged to Nicholas Longworth, and later David Sinton lived there with his daughter, Anna, that married Charles Phelps Taft, half-brother to President William Howard Taft. They would live here from 1873 to 1929, with William accepting the nomination for the president in 1908 here. The Charles Taft family were avid art collectors, turning their home into something of a museum, and then later donating the Greek Revival home and the vast collection of art that they had collected to the people of Cincinnati in 1927. In their deed of gift, the said, "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". This wonderful collection includes European old masters paintings created by; Frans Hals, Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, Adrianen van Ostade, Thomas Gainsborough and Dominique Ingres, and others, with excellent 19th century American paintings that included murals by Robert Duncanson. There are decent amounts of Limoges enamels, sculptures, watches, furniture, European decorative arts and Chinese porcelains. Some of the featured pieces include; Virgin and Child by the Abbey of Saint-Denis in Paris circa 1260-80, The Cobbler's Apprentice by Frank Duveneck in 1877, At the Piano by James Abbott McNeill Whistler in 1858-59, Song of the Talking Wire by Henry Farny in 1904, Europa and the Bull by J. M. W. Turner in 1840-1850 and Portrait of a Man Rising from his Chair by Rembrandt vin Rijin in 1633.  The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and later became a National Historic Landmark. Other memorable sculpted pieces include; Saint-Porchaire Standing Saltcellar by Philibert de l'Orme and Bernard Palissy, Portrait of Francois de Cleves, duc de Nevers by Leonard Limosin, Portrait of a Seated Woman Holding a Fan by Fran Hals, Casket with the Triumph of Diana by Pierre Raymond, Triptych with Calvary, Saint James and Saint Catherine of Alexandria by Monvaerni Master and Display Dish with Orpheus Lamenting the Death of Eurydice by Master of the Taft Orpheus. Paintings include; The Doctor's Visit by Jan Steen, Portrait of Queen Maria Luisa of Spain by Francisco Jose de Goya y Lucientes, The Sleeping Soldier by Gerard ter Borch, Mrs. John Weyland and her son John by Joshua Reynolds, A Women with Cittern and a Singing Couple at a Table by Pieter de Hooch and Still Life with Tilted Basket of Fruit, Vase of Flowers and Shells by Balthasar van der Ast. The museum has marvelous classes, studio programs, girl scout programs, high school workshops and many other venues that involve the schools, the public and educators. There are numerous lectures, gallery talks, workshops and classes, flower shows, tea parties and so much more that the best way to enjoy this outstanding museum is to visit it for yourself and see what tickles your fancy.

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  • Contemporary Arts CenterContemporary Arts Center Cincinnati, Ohio
    The Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio is a pioneering contemporary art museum, that is non-collecting concentrating of newer developments in performance arts, sculpture, photography, architecture, new media and paintings. The CAC is devoted to programming that showcases the "art of the last five minutes"; with many now famous artists with works early on in their careers like Andy Warhol. The center was started in 1939 and called the Modern Art Society and was one of the first in the country to show contemporary artworks. The opening exhibition was called "Modern Paintings from Cincinnati Collections", and took place in the basement of the Cincinnati Art Museum. The center moved into the Women's Exchange Building in downtown Cincinnati in 1964 and in 1990, an important publicized exhibit of controversial Robert Mapplethorpe photographs ended up in a trial that was shown in the TV movie, "Dirty Pictures". The center finally was able to move into its own home in 2003, the Lois and Richard Rosenthal Center of Contemporary Art, designed by Zaha Hadid. In 2008, the center announced an exhibition and auction FORM; Contemporary Architects at Play, a spectacular collection of wonderful new artworks from 10 world famous architects that included; Zaha Hadid, Bernard Tschumi and Michael Graves. The outstanding works were prepared exclusively for the CAC and built in thoughtful materials given by Formica Corporation, which look at an array of artistic expressions that have come to us from the best designers of the age that work in architecture today, that included designs that spanned in scope from domestic items to conceptual sculpture. The two groups wanted the architects to design something that people could lean on, lie on, sit on and play on; with the architects coming up with a fantastic number of approaches that resulted in a collection that is remarkable and very unusual. Those that took part in this new adventure included; Laurinda Spear from Arquitectonica, Peter Eisenman from Eisenman Architects, Bernard Tschumi from Bernard Tschumi Architects, Michael Graves from Graves Design, Bill Pedersen from Kohn Pedersen Fox, Buzz Yudell from Moore Ruble Yudell Architects and Planners, Massimo Vignelli from Vignelli Designs, Inc. and Thom Mayne from Morphosis. One of the most unique exhibitions ever shown in a museum or art facility is now happening at the center, with Sara M. and Patricia A. Vance Education Center: the Unmuseum which is a groundbreaking new idea for children museums, schools and families. It takes up the entire 6th floor, the Unmuseum is a gallery of special art that has been created for children and parents, where you can touch, smell and hear the art that speaks to you and your inner spirit.

January 11, 2011