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10/4/2017 12:00:00 AM
CINCINNATI— The Cincinnati Art Museum is opening its newly renovated Schmidlapp Gallery, the central gallery linking the museum’s front lobby and the Great Hall, on October 12. The innovative transformation, funded partially by a $1.25 million grant from the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee along with additional financial support from the State of Ohio, invites visitors to pause, converse, linger and discover the museum’s collection.
The new Schmidlapp Gallery carries out important improvements from the museum’s 2016–2020 strategic plan, executing the mission: through the power of art, we contribute to a more vibrant Cincinnati by inspiring its people and connecting our communities.
“This project has been in the making since 1907,” says Louis and Louise Dieterle Nippert Director Cameron Kitchin. “The new Schmidlapp Gallery borrows from the best of our installations over time. It is a rethinking of not just the design, but the purpose of the space—why it exists in the architecture of the building and the pathway of the visitor experience.”
Visitors will experience a new wall of windows for natural light, couches and chairs to encourage congregation, individual looking lounges and detailed curatorial interpretation around singular artworks, new flooring to visually connect to the Bimel Courtyard, lighting and state-of-the-art temperature and humidity systems for the artwork. Cincinnati’s Emersion Design and Monarch Construction were primary contractors for this project. The redesigned gallery will be finalized in early 2018 when the museum permanently installs Saul Steinberg’s 75-foot-long Mural of Cincinnati.
The October 12 reopening includes the debut of an interactive experience in the Schmidlapp Gallery, MyCAM. New touch tables help visitors create thematic art hunts to personalize their museum experience. Visitors select art based on their interest and print a personalized guide before heading out into the galleries. MyCAM offers over 320,000 different artwork combinations and each MyCAM booklet is filled with creative activities.
MyCAM is based on JourneyMaker, the family interactive experience designed and developed in open source by the Art Institute of Chicago. The museum worked with Paperplane Creative and Clifton Labs to bring JourneyMaker to the Cincinnati Art Museum. It will also be available online at cincinnatiartmuseum.org.
In the first installation in the Schmidlapp Gallery, six vibrant 7½-foot-square mosaic murals by Curtis Goldstein and Matt Lynch will be featured in the space. Using the artist Winold Reiss’ 1932 industrial murals featured at the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal as inspiration, Goldstein and Lynch depict employees at factories and warehouses that represent Cincinnati’s contemporary manufacturing through companies including Rumpke Recycling, Verdin Bells and Clocks, GE Aviation and Rookwood Pottery.
Like Reiss’ original works, the mosaics began as photographs taken on factory tours that were transformed into unique compositions. Rather than using glass tiles like Reiss, Goldstein and Lynch collaborated with Formica, a UC DAAP studio sponsor and subject of one of the murals, to utilize their laminate product to realize these images. In June 2018, these works will be shown as part of a suite of 10 artworks by Goldstein and Lynch at the Weston Art Gallery presented in conjunction with an exhibition of studies, photographs and historical material from the Reiss project.
The gallery, originally built in 1907 as part of the Schmidlapp Wing or Schmidlapp Extension, was the first expansion beyond the museum’s original 1886 building. The gallery has been home to classical plasters, antiquities and more recently, museum “icons” by Van Gogh, Gainsborough, Warhol and Tiffany.
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.
General admission to the Cincinnati Art Museum is always free. The museum is open Tuesday–Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. with extended Thursday hours until 8 p.m. cincinnatiartmuseum.org.
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