Officially called the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, the Contemporary Arts Center opened in 2003. Designed by the late Zaha Hadid, the New York Times declared it to be the the best new building since the Cold War.” It features 16,000 square feet of exhibition space, another exhibition and educational space called the UnMuseum, and offers musical and theatrical performances, artist talks, workshops, and family and school programs.
The museum's origins date back to 1939 when three women, Peggy Frank Crawford, Betty Pollack and Rita Rentschler, founded the museum. They raised money and initially worked from their living rooms. Eventually, with a few years they began showing exhibitions of Picasso, Renoir, and Klee in the lower levels of the Cincinnati Art Museum. The museum's name was changed to the current one in 1952. The museum moved into its own space in 1964 and remained there until 2003 when the current building opened.