Inspired by Philadelphia’s Centennial Exhibition held in 1876, a Cincinnati group called the Women’s Art Museum Association brought this city’s museum to fruition. Ten years later, the first incarnation of the Cincinnati Art Museum opened. The city embraced the institution, donating tens of thousands of objects to it in its early years. Continued donations have led to several expansions since then. Today the museum has 60,000 objects and is the largest museum of its kind in the state.
The museum’s permanent collection spans 6,000 years. Some of its collections include American and European painting and sculpture, costumes and textiles, art of Africa and the Americas, photographs, and classical and Near Eastern art, among others. Highlights of these collections include a Madeline Vionnet silk and velvet dress from 1926 to 1927; paintings by Francisco Zurbaran, Tiepolo and Millet; and photographs by Steichen, Stieglitz and Edward Sheriff Curtis.
The museum has hosted a wide array of special exhibitions. In the past those have included showcases of Chinese animal painting, art nouveau jewelry, American Indian art by Rookwood and Farny, and 20th century Japanese fashion.
Cincinnati Art Museum Information
- Public Transportation: Fair (Accessible via Metro Bus #1 only)
- Handicapped Accessible: Yes (Also, visitors with visual impairments can experience Docent or Staff-led touch tours. Assisted Listening Devices are also available and complimentary for the hearing impaired.)
- Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 5pm, Wednesday 11am – 9pm
- Admission: Free; Charges for Traveling and Special Exhibitions, usually around $10
Tours: Free. Twenty minute tours are available daily and highlight both the Permanent Collection, as well as Special Exhibitions. Group, Docent-led tours: $10/person; $25-30/person for the tour + lunch/afternoon tea
- Membership: Multiple Memberships are available; Standard Individual Membership is $45 and includes free opening night parties, exhibition tickets and video rentals in the library. The same membership is available to students for $30. Dual ($60) and Family ($75) Memberships are also offered.
- Other Benefits: Collector Membership ($150) entitles you and your family to receive the standard program, plus reciprocal benefits at other Ohio art museums.