Cincinnati Area Art Tour
Learn about the lives of local artists like Frank Duveneck and Stephen C. Foster. Visit the Cincinnati area's notable fine arts centers.
Built in 1878, Music Hall is Cincinnati’s premier classical music hall. It is considered one of the best and most beautiful theaters in the world and it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975. It is a home for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, the Cincinnati Opera, the Cincinnati Ballet, and the May festival.
The Cincinnati Art Museum was founded in 1881 at a time when art museums for the public were much less common then they are today. Following its official opening in 1885, it became known throughout the world as "The Art Palace of the West." Over the years it has acquired thousands of diverse pieces by way of donations. The museum offers a number of programs open to the public as well as access to the relatively new Mary R. Schiff Library and Archives.
Housed in the Baum-Longworth-Sinton-Taft House, the Taft Museum of Art hosts traveling exhibitions that tend to focus on American art and history. As a result, the Taft Museum complements the works and collections on display at the nearby Cincinnati Museum of Art. The building that houses the museum is itself a work of art and an important piece of American history. Built in 1820 for Martin Baum, it is the area’s oldest residential wooden building still in its original location. The museum’s co-founder, Anna Sinton Taft, lived in the mansion with her husband Charles Phelps Taft—half-brother of President William Howard Taft—from 1837 until their deaths in 1929 and 1931, respectively. In 1927, the Tafts passed their home and private art collection to the people of Cincinnati. The house opened as the Taft Museum in 1932.
This marker commemorates the brief and tragin life of Stephen C. Foster (1826-1864) who became America's first professional songwriter. Some even consider Foster as the "father of American music" owing to his creation of uniquely American melodies such as "Camptown Races" and "My Old Kentucky Home." Although many of his songs featured nostalgia for the American South, Foster was a northerner who only crossed the Mason-Dixon Line one time in his thirty-eight years of life. He lived in a house at this location between 1846-1850. His songs were inspired by the work of Dan Rice, a white performer who rose to fame by painting his face black and performing bufoonish rituals meant to unite his white audience and reinforce their belief that they were superior to African Americans. Many of Foster's lyrics reflected the orientation of Rice's performances. And while American audiences continue to sing Foster's songs, it is important to note that some of the lyrics have been altered to remove their explicitly racist message.
Officially called the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, the 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.” It also offers musical concerts, theatrical performances, artist talks, workshops, and school programs.
Convington's Frank Duveneck House and Studio was the home of the notable American Realism painter for 58 years. The home, now in disrepair served as Duveneck’s childhood and adult home and eventually became his art studio. Duveneck is often credited with helping bring the artistic style Realism to the United States after studying in Munich under German portraitist Franz von Lenbach. Duveneck is known also for his contributions to the arts in the region as he supported other local artists and taught art courses in the area despite having offers from major schools in other regions. The Duveneck House and Studio were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.
William Behringer was a world traveler and collected many things in his lifetime. The museum opened in 1950 to showcase many of interesting finds Behinger had collected from various animals to American Indian artifacts. The museum now serves to preserve regional history in the Ohio River Valley. It is located in DeVou Park.