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View Nourse, Wesselmann and Harper, among others, in Art Academy of Cincinnati at 150: A Celebration in Drawings and Prints

11/12/2018 12:00:00 AM

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CINCINNATI— Delve into the history and legacy of one of the most esteemed art schools in the Midwest in the special exhibition Art Academy of Cincinnati at 150: A Celebration in Drawings and Prints, on view February 1–April 28, 2019 at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

In honor of the Art Academy of Cincinnati’s (AAC) 150th anniversary celebration, the Cincinnati Art Museum selected more than 90 masterful drawings and prints by AAC alumni and faculty from the museum’s permanent collection.

Created by widely-recognized artists including Tom Wesselmann, Elizabeth Nourse, Charley Harper, John Henry Twachtman and Thom Shaw, many of the artworks have rarely been displayed, and 25 works will be on view for the first time. Moreover, the exhibition showcases the accomplishments of celebrated artists living and working in the community, such as John A. Ruthven, Gary Gaffney and Constance McClure.

The Cincinnati Art Museum and the AAC share a closely intertwined history. The Academy initially opened in 1869 as the McMicken School of Design, which evolved into the School of Design of University of Cincinnati. In 1887, known as the Art Academy of Cincinnati, the school moved to the building adjacent to the museum. The AAC and Cincinnati Art Museum remained side-by-side until the Academy announced its separation from the museum in 1998.

In 2005, the AAC opened a new campus in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood in downtown Cincinnati, where it stands today. The AAC operates presently as a private college of art and design with a mission to create and sustain forward-thinking, contemporary visual artists and designers whose creative contributions make a substantial difference in the world.

Cincinnati Art Museum Curator of Prints Kristin Spangenberg and Curator of American Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings Julie Aronson, curated the exhibition together.

“The Art Academy of Cincinnati has long been a leader in art education and a hub for artistic experimentation and innovation,” says Aronson. “As a result, the Academy has fostered the talent of many important and sometimes groundbreaking artists, enhancing the city’s international reputation as a vital cultural center.”

“The Cincinnati Art Museum is committed to representing the impressive talent in our region,” adds Spangenberg. “This exhibition is the museum’s way of honoring successful artists who began their careers right here in Cincinnati.” Many additional works by artists associated with the AAC may be seen in the museum’s permanent collection galleries.

Related programs will be held at the museum in conjunction with the run of the exhibition. They include: Public Tour with ASL interpretation and Artist Workshop: Old Master Techniques in Painting on February 16, Gallery Experience: Memories from the Art Academy on February 17, Wee Wednesday: Wee Cincinnatians on February 27, Artist Workshop: Printmaking on March 16, Family First Saturday: The City on April 6, and Artist Workshop: Figure Drawing on April 20. To learn more, please visit

Art Academy of Cincinnati at 150: A Celebration in Drawings and Prints is presented by Fund Evaluation Group (FEG) and will be on view in the Schiff Gallery and Balcony, Galleries 234 and 235. Admission is free.

Image credit: Charley Harper (1922–3007), United States, Gazelle in the Grass (Nighttime), circa 1961, gouache, Museum Purchase: Bequest of Mr. and Mrs. Walter J. Wichgar, 2008.16, © Estate of Charley Harper


About the Cincinnati Art Museum
The Cincinnati Art Museum is supported by the generosity of individuals and businesses that give annually to Artswave. The Ohio Arts Council helps fund the Cincinnati Art Museum with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. The Cincinnati Art Museum gratefully acknowledges operating support from the City of Cincinnati, as well as our members.

Free general admission to the Cincinnati Art Museum is made possible by a gift from The Rosenthal Family Foundation. Special exhibition pricing may vary. Parking at the Cincinnati Art Museum is free. The museum is open Tuesday – Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. and Thursday, 11 a.m.–8 p.m.

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