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

Dr. Nathaniel M. Stein was appointed Associate Curator of Photography at the Cincinnati Art Museum in 2017. Stein holds a B.A. in Art History from Wesleyan University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Brown University, where his doctoral research dealt with photography in India and Britain in the nineteenth century. He has published and organized exhibitions on internationally-established and emerging contemporary photographers from South Asia, Europe, continental North America, and the Caribbean. Prior to arriving in Cincinnati, Stein held curatorial positions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, and the RISD Museum. He has taught the history of photography, film, and modern and contemporary art at the Rhode Island School of Design, Arcadia University, and Brown University; held research fellowships at the Yale Center for British Art and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art; and delivered lectures on nineteenth-century and contemporary visual culture at venues including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS, London), and the Victoria & Albert Museum.