Skip to content

2019 at the Cincinnati Art Museum

by Kaitlyn Sharo, Marketing & Communications Manager


Year in Review , front ramp , Nancy Rexroth , Beyond Black Rock , Art Climb , Art in Bloom , Special Exhibitions , No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man , Best of Cincinnati

From a new attendance record to Burning Man interactive installations to a new fully accessible front entrance, what an incredible year it’s been for the Cincinnati Art Museum!

The Cincinnati Art Museum increased its accessibility initiatives in 2019. One of the first visible changes was a new ramp to the front entrance, allowing visitors in wheelchairs or with strollers to gain easy access to the front of museum. Previously, the only entrance for those with physical accessibility needs was at the DeWitt entrance, located at the rear of the museum facility.

The new front ramp was made possible through the generosity of the Joseph family of Cincinnati, and additional support provided by an anonymous donation. A dedication ceremony took place in October.  

“The twenty-first century visitor to the Cincinnati Art Museum experiences state of the art museum interpretation, stellar art collections and intergenerational learning. Equity and inclusion, for people of all abilities, backgrounds, and life stages, is essential to these goals. Universal and equal physical access is a welcome advancement we are excited to complete for Cincinnati,” said Cameron Kitchin, Cincinnati Art Museum’s Louis and Louise Dieterle Nippert Director.

As part of its 2016–2021 strategic plan, the museum has already expanded accessibility programming, created a cross-divisional accessibility committee and carried out staff trainings about welcoming all visitors.

A new book that chronicles the Cincinnati Art Museum’s history through photographs was published as a part of Arcadia’s “Images of America” series in April.

The book tells the story of the museum from its founding in 1881 to present day. The book is organized chronologically, featuring 275 images of notable exhibitions, people and events from the past 138 years. The images were pulled from the museum’s archives, a treasure trove of information on the institution’s history, and an exceptional resource for the study of art history in Cincinnati and beyond.

A perfect stocking stuffer, the book is available for purchase in the Museum Shop and online at

The Cincinnati Art Museum announced a landmark acquisition agreement to form the Nancy Rexroth Collection, which will bring together over 300 rare and vintage photographic works, including a complete set of pictures from the 1977 and 2017 editions of the artist’s iconic photobook, IOWA. The acquisition marks the creation of the definitive collection of Rexroth’s artistic achievements—a chapter of photographic history the Cincinnati Art Museum is proud to steward.

The highly anticipated special exhibition No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man served as the inspiration for Beyond Black Rock, the museum’s summer fundraiser event on June 7. The event featured live music from DJ Dayna and Swampthang, performances by Pones featuring painted bodies by Aryn Fox, Forealism Tribe and aerial performers from Elevated Aerials.

Food from La Soupe, Forno Osteria + Bar, United Dairy Farmers and the Terrace Café was provided as well as craft beer from Fifty West Brewing Company and Platform Beer Company. Proceeds from the fundraiser will continue to help bring dynamic art exhibitions to Cincinnati, as well as support the thousands of free public programs offered at the museum including Wee Wednesday, Sensory Saturdays and REC Reads.

The Cincinnati Art Museum’s commitment to engaging with its community will soon be physically represented with a new project, the Art Climb.

With this project, the museum seeks to engage with its surrounding historic, vital neighborhoods, including Walnut Hills. This effort to activate the museum grounds will allow new and broader access through public common space and art interactions outside the walls of the museum.

The Art Climb includes a staircase and series of landings from the sidewalk near the intersection of Eden Park Drive and Gilbert Avenue leading up to the front museum entrance. This project will open the museum grounds, connect the museum to its neighbors and provide a space to incorporate outdoor artworks.

Construction will be completed in summer 2020. The museum remains open during construction.

The museum welcomed the largest number of yearly visitors in the building’s 133-year history, with more than 346,000 walking through its doors during the 2018–2019 fiscal year. The previous attendance record-holder for the museum was set in 1973. Each of the last five years produced progressively increasing attendance numbers, with the addition of evening hours, growth in public programs, new galleries and the Rosenthal Education Center (REC).

This summer, the museum’s special exhibition No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man brought in visitors from around the world, in record numbers. It was the most highly attended exhibition in the museum’s recorded history, surpassing last year’s successful Terracotta Army: Legacy of the First Emperor of China and 1982’s Tower of London exhibition.

The Cincinnati Art Museum was pleased to announce the election of new Board Officers including President Amy L. Hanson, CEO of Amy Hanson Advisory Services LLC, Chairman of the Board Andrew E. DeWitt, Founders & Executive Chairman of Dewey’s Pizza, Vice President Polk Laffoon IV, freelance writer and civic volunteer, Treasurer Rance G. Duke, retired President for Fort Washington Investment Advisors, Inc., and Secretary Bruce Petrie, Jr., Partner at Graydon Head & Ritchey.

These roles began September 1, 2019 and run through August 31, 2020.

Six new Trustees will serve their first term from 2019–2022: Vada Hill, Paul Jantsch, Anu Mitra, Ph.D., Katrina Mundy, Lisa Sauer and Eddie Tyner.

A biennial fall celebration of fine art and floral designs, Art in Bloom returned to the Cincinnati Art Museum October 17–20. The 10th Art in Bloom event featured four days of special events, family friendly activities, docent-led tours and demonstrations by curators and floral arrangers. Mark your calendars for our next Art in Bloom in October 2021!

Collecting Calligraphy: Arts of the Islamic World, September 7, 2018–January 27, 2019

The Fabric of India, October 19, 2018–January 6, 2019

Art Academy of Cincinnati: A Celebration in Drawings and Prints, February 1–April 28, 2019

Giorgione’s La Vecchia, February 15–May 5, 2019

Paris 1900: City of Entertainment, March 1–May 12, 2019

No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man, April 26–September 2, 2019

Kimono: Refashioning Contemporary Style, June 28–September 15, 2019

The Levee: A Photographer in the American South, October 5, 2019–February 2, 2020

Women Breaking Boundaries, October 11, 2019–April 12, 2020

Treasures of the Spanish World, October 25, 2019–January 19, 2020

Materialty: Contemporary Art in Ceramics, Glass, Fiber and Wood, July 14, 2018–November 2019

New World Views, September 29, 2018–January 6, 2019

First Photographs: From the Collection, November 9, 2018–February 3, 2019

Mark Fox: Nutzilla, July 7, 2018–February 10, 2019

How Very Droll: British Caricature, December 18, 2018–April 7, 2019

The Lady’s Advisor: Love and Courting on Folding Fans, December 8, 2018–June 30, 2019

Childe Hassam: American Impressionist Printmaker, April 9–August 4, 2019

Korean Art in East Asian Gallery, August 20–December 1, 2019

Voted #1 museum in Cincinnati by CityBeat readers

346,000 TOTAL fiscal year attendance (September 1, 2018–August 31, 2019)

1,446 NEW memberships

Over $3 million raised in grants

Facebook followers: 74,000+

Twitter followers: 58,500+

Instagram followers: 38,000+

CAM in the National News


Fine Art Connoisseur: Frank Duveneck, Reinterpreted

The New York Times: The Week in Arts: No need to go to Venice to see Giorgione’s “La Vecchia”

March: Americans Flocked to See This Controversial Exhibit of Berlin’s Art Treasures in the Wake of World War II

April :

Forbes: Cincinnati Art Museum Taking You from Paris 1900 to Burning Man

MSN: Burning Man exhibit at Cincinnati Art Museum: Why you should go


NYT Style Magazine: What Happens When Site-Specific Art Outlasts Its Surroundings?

Art & Antiques Magazine: Gorham Silver: The Shining


Forbes: Cincinnati: A Great American City Roars Back


Rolling Stone: Solange film at CAM


Wall Street Journal Magazine: Women Breaking Boundaries


The Art Newspaper: Romare Bearden


ArtNews: 30 Americans


Chicago Tribune: Cincinnati Food


Midwest Living: 9 Things we’re crushing on this winter

None of this would be possible without YOU

THANK YOU to our donors, members, visitors, volunteers and staff for an amazing year! Be a part of the fun in 2020! Become a member or donate to help us use the power of art to contribute to a more vibrant Cincinnati.