Why I Love Working at CAM

by Terri Weiler


Terri Weiler , behind the scenes , curatorial , fashion , museum history



I am always asked what it is like to work at the Cincinnati Art Museum and my response is always the same…I love working here.   I didn’t grow up in the art world and to be honest, coming to the Cincinnati Art Museum was never very high on my list of things to do.  I visited a few years back with my daughter for her birthday and we really enjoyed it, so when a friend of mine told me about a job opening a few years later I jumped at the opportunity and haven’t looked back (thanks Terry!).  I’ve been here little over three years and have loved every minute of it and have learned so much in that time.

One of the things I love most about the Cincinnati Art Museum is that things are always changing.  We continue to acquire new artwork, install new exhibitions, rotate artwork in the permanent galleries, and hold openings and events.  I have had the privilege of meeting artists, collectors and scholars over the years and have even walked in the Cincinnati Red’s Opening Day Parade, representing the museum.  Where else can you work and do all that??

I have had the wonderful opportunity to go behind the scenes to view our artwork in storage.  I have gotten up close and personal with objects that are thousands of years old, which is beyond thrilling to me.

 Native American objects in storage

African objects in storage 


I have also had the opportunity to visit our remarkable Fashion Arts & Textiles storage area.  My favorite items are the really early pieces from the 1800’s.  It just amazes me that we have row after row of dresses, suits, coats, shirts, shoes, hats, and fans that people actually wore and/or used hundreds of years ago.  How cool is that?!?!



Fashion arts storage 


Yes, there are still pieces of artwork that don’t particularly interest me, but I have found even more that I do love.  Being able to walk through the galleries on any given day is an experience in itself.  Besides meeting our guests who are enjoying the artwork, I get to take my time and read about the objects, talk to others who are more knowledgeable and, in turn, I learn so much.  The staff is given the opportunity to walk through each temporary exhibition with the curator, which gives us a chance to learn all about the exhibition as well as pick the curator’s brain.  We learn so much during these walk-throughs.

Here are a few of my favorite things:

 The Dutch painting gallery

My favorite gallery to walk through, which I do often, is Gallery 205.  I love this gallery because of all the beautiful wood paneling.  I try to imagine what it would be like to live in a house with all that wood and beautiful artwork.


{right} John Hoppner (English, b. 1758, d. 1810), The Honorable Augusta Herbert as a Child, circa 1795, oil on canvas, Bequest of Mary M. Emery, 1927.401

{left} John Hoppner (English, b. 1758, d. 1810), Master Meyrick (William Henry Meyrick),circa 1905, oil on canvas, 1946.112

I love children, so these two paintings catch my eye every time I walk through the gallery.  They are hung right next to each other and I can’t decide which one I like better.  When I first saw the painting on the left, Master Meyrick (William Henry Meyrick), I assumed like so many others, that it was a painting of a little girl, but after reading the label I discovered it was actually a little boy.  Knowing that made me enjoy it even more.  These two paintings are like a magnet for me and I can’t enjoy them enough.


Dale Chihuly (American, b.1941), Rio Delle Torreselle Chandelier, 1995, cobalt blue, translucent glass, Museum Purchase with funds provided by Mrs. Richard Thayer, Geraldine B. Warner, Robert and Fay Boeh, Nancy and David Wolf, Mary Lynn and Thomas M. Cooney Fund, Dick and Peggy Andre, Cincinnati Art Museum Women’s Committee, Dr. Stanley and Mickey Kaplan/Kaplan Foundation, 2001.37

This chandelier is just beautiful and it is one of the first things you see when you walk in the front door of the Cincinnati Art Museum.  It amazes me how much detail there is and how hard it must have been to design and make it, much less transport it.  I especially love the color—it catches my eye every time I walk into the lobby.

If you haven’t been to the Cincinnati Art Museum lately be sure to stop by soon.  There is always something wonderful going on and I know you will find something that you just love.

Terri Weiler is the Curatorial Administrative Assistant supporting the curators as well as the Chief Curator.  She provides full administrative support by directing and facilitating the operation of the Curatorial Department as it relates between the Chief Curator and the staff, trustees, public, other museum professionals, and the community.  In addition she coordinates all aspects of the Acquisitions Committee meetings and provides other support where necessary.