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Self-Taught Artists Make Their Mark at the Cincinnati Art Museum June 9–Oct. 8, 2023

4/10/2023 12:00:00 AM

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CINCINNATI — April 10, 2023 —Museum visitors will soon enjoy a new exhibition that challenges the status quo in Creating Connections: Self-Taught Artists in the Rosenthal Collection, on view June 9–Oct. 8, 2023.

Drawn from the collection of Richard “Dick” Rosenthal and family, the exhibition celebrates a remarkable promised gift of selected works to the museum. Dick Rosenthal started building his incredible art collection with his late wife, Lois, more than 30 years ago.  

“The Rosenthals’ generosity to our community through the art museum is extraordinary,” shared Louis and Louise Dieterle Nippert Director Cameron Kitchin. “It represents a true and authentic belief in artists and the arts to connect each of us. I am grateful for their deep friendship and in abiding admiration of what they make possible.”

Coming from diverse cultures and circumstances, the featured self-taught artists used a range of materials, from the conventional to creatively repurposed ones, such as housepaint, cardboard, rocks, bottle caps, cans and even discarded scraps of wood. Wide-ranging, the nearly 40 works include drawings, watercolors, paintings, sculpture and needlework.

Most from the 20th century, artists include Jean Dubuffet, a French champion of self-taught artists, as well as Bill Traylor, Nellie Mae Rowe, Ralph Fasanella, Martín Ramírez, Thornton Dial, Nek Chand and many others.

“Art connects us. It bridges artist and viewer, often across time, culture and experience,” shared Dr. Julie Aronson, the exhibition’s curator and the museum’s curator of American Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings. “It is a form of communication that makes artists visible and allows self-determination. Expanding art history to self-taught artists celebrates our shared humanity and opens our eyes to a world of compelling, brave and ingenious work.”

Creating Connections: Self-Taught Artists in the Rosenthal Collection will be located in the Thomas R. Schiff Galleries (G234) and will be accompanied by a display of work from Cincinnati’s Visionaries and Voices (G235). Admission is free; no tickets are required. General admission to the Cincinnati Art Museum is also free. On social media, use the hashtag #RosenthalCollection. Museum members are invited to view the exhibition from 5–7 p.m. during a preview on Thursday, June 8. Reservations are not required.

Creating Connections: Self-Taught Artists in the Rosenthal Collection is made possible by Richard “Dick” Rosenthal and his family. The exhibition is presented by Veritable. It will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog published by the museum in association with D. Giles Limited. 


Contributions from the Rosenthal Family:

The significant contributions to the Cincinnati Art Museum of Richard “Dick” Rosenthal and his family reflect a commitment to sharing works of art, making art widely accessible and fostering creativity. Most notably, in 2003, a generous donation from the Rosenthal Family Foundation supported free, daily admission for all visitors. In 2011 the Rosenthal Education Center (REC) opened its doors and has since provided daily hands-on art making experiences for guests of all ages. Recently, Dick and Kitty Rosenthal were honorary chairs of the A New View campaign, which surpassed $65 million in fundraising.


Upcoming, related events:

Dr. Olivia Sagan, Professor of Psychology and Head of Division of Psychology, Sociology and Education from the Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, will deliver a lecture that researches the process of art making at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 8. The lecture is free for members. General public, $20; Students, $5. Reservation information coming soon.

Creating Connections: Self-Taught Artists in the Rosenthal Collection will be accompanied by a variety of public programming including Connect: A Program for Adults with Developmental Disabilities, featuring a Visionaries and Voices guest teaching artist, at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 24; Family Storytime and Gallery Walk at 11 a.m. Saturday, September 2; Art Together: Art Making for Families with Children Ages 3-5 at 10:15 a.m. and Family Studio: Art Making for Families with Children Ages 6-12 at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 16. The October 7 CAM Kids Day from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. will be centered around this exhibition. Check for more information about programs as it becomes available. Schedule subject to change.


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. Exhibition pricing may vary. Parking is free.

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