Cincinnati Art Museum
953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH, USA
www.cincinnatiartmuseum.org - (513) 721-2787
Cincinnati Art Museum Reviews
Apr 25, 2007
A business trip left me in Dayton for a weekend, so I decided to capitalize on the opportunity to visit the Cincinnati Art Museum because I had heard they had a quality collection of Nabatean artifacts. Although there wasn’t a trace of anything Nabatean, I was impressed by the wonderful collection housed here!
The museum is fairly easy to find (about five miles off of exit 7 from I-75) and sits atop a hill overlooking the city. I’ll be the first to say Cincinnati doesn’t have a classic skyline, but it benefits from being snug against the winding Ohio River and the art museum is positioned perfectly to enjoy this perspective. Better yet, the museum is free, although you did have to pay to see the current featured exhibition (Andrew Wyeth), which was $7 for adults.
What floated my boat was the rich diversity of exhibits. Despite the Nabatean no-show, there is an impressive collection of ancient Persian pieces that is well displayed and described. Other antiquity exhibits included the Greek, Roman and Egyptian cultures (yes, they even have a mummy for the kids to ooh and aah over), which were smaller but quite fascinating.
The rest of the museum is pure art, and there is something for everybody. On the first floor (where all the antiquities are) was a red Barchetta on display, which I thought was very hip and foreshadowed the breadth of floors yet to come. Nobody seemed to be snubbed as I ventured up to the second floor, rambling among everything from impressionists (including John Singer Sargent and Mary Cassatt in addition to the French masters) to renaissance and baroque. Not to mention some splendid displays focusing upon Ohio artists, which were quality - who would have thought? Stumbling across a Warhol, a Van Gough and several brilliant pieces by James Whistler really astonished me. And please know I am not trying to be a ‘name dropper,’ but trying to express there is a vast quantity of quality artwork here. I was equally impressed by the multitude of pieces by folks I had never heard of!
The second floor also houses a thoughtful African art collection and a great contemporary pottery section (some wild pieces here). The third floor is entirely contemporary, and is pretty much a single large room, but overall the museum is cavernous and the first two floors require serious shoe leather to cover in entirety. I happily spent about four hours here, including a tasty lunch at the restaurant on site. The café abuts a charming atrium with outdoor seating available, and since it was a sunny day I grabbed that opportunity.
After exiting, I walked down the hill to revel in Eden Park, which really accented the experience. This is a pleasant park featuring a huge, man-made lake and fountain. Being a sunny day, the park was populated by kids, dogs, kite-flyers and a really good vibe! A perfect conclusion to a recommended visit.
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