The Cincinnati Art Museum exhibited photography for the first time in 1896 and acquired its first photographs for the collection in 1899. The collection spans the history of the medium, from a salted-paper print by William Henry Fox Talbot to contemporary photographs by emerging artists. The museum’s holdings are notably strong in several areas: nineteenth-century travel photography, in particular photographs from Japan; mid-twentieth-century modern American photography by such acknowledged masters as Walker Evans, Aaron Siskind and Harry Callahan; and contemporary photography, from blue-chip figures like Hiroshi Sugimoto, William Eggleston and Andreas Gursky to younger practitioners like An-My Lê and Lisa Oppenheim.

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Featured Objects

Mrs. Bell of Madras

David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, 1976.37

Woman Bathing

Unidentified Artist, 1981.711.39


Gordon Parks, 1999.15

Gunsmith and Police Department

Berenice Abbott, 2000.278

Room 125, West Bank Motel, Idaho Falls, ID, July 18

Stephen Shore, 2008.59

North Pacific Ocean, Oregon

Hiroshi Sugimoto, 2010.34

Brian Sholis is the Curator of Photography. He has worked as a curator, writer, and editor for more than ten years, both independently and at such organizations as Artforum and Aperture Foundation, and has organized exhibitions and public programs in Paris, Miami, and New York. His writing on photography and contemporary art has appeared in catalogues published by the Museum of Modern Art, the New Museum, the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and the Moderna Museet, and has appeared in Artforum, Frieze, Art in America, Aperture, and other periodicals. Sholis received his B.A. from Boston University and an M.A. in American History from the City University of New York’s Graduate Center. He has taught at the Pratt Institute, Parsons the New School for Design, New York University, and Lehman College, and has been a visiting critic at more than dozen other universities and art schools. Sholis’s particular interests include American landscape photography; Conceptual Art; and contemporary artists using photography.