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Become a Friend

The Friends of the Art Museum program creates new opportunities for you to discover ways art can become an integral part of your life, enriching and framing how you experience the world.

By joining a Friends group of like-minded individuals, you will find out more about the art and artists that specifically interest you. Friends enjoy special benefits, including invitations to exclusive behind-the-scenes tours of permanent collections, visits to private collections and artists’ studios, and special lectures and discussions led by curators and guest speakers.

See individual Friends Group descriptions below for additional details. Your membership supports the Art Museum’s mission to offer educational, life-enhancing experiences to art lovers like you.


Getting Started

All levels of CAM Members may add a Friend Group to their membership for $35 per Friend Group. Find your Friend Group below to join.

Members at the Collector Level and above are entitled to complimentary Friend Group membership(s) based on level of giving:

  1 Complimentary Friend Group
  Associates & Fellows
  2 Complimentary Friend Groups
  Founders   3 Complimentary Friend Groups
  Patrons   Unlimited Friend Groups


For more information, contact the Membership Department at [email protected] or (513) 639-2966.


A landscape painting featuring three figures fishing by a lake in a densely wooded forestFriends of African American Art

The Cincinnati Art Museum is actively engaged in acquiring works of art by African American artists in all media, from all periods. From the serene landscapes of nineteenth century painter Robert S. Duncanson to contemporary mixed media by Mark Bradford, African Americans are represented in every media in the museum’s collection, including works by Horace Pippin, Jacob Lawrence, Sam Gilliam, Carrie Mae Weems, Thom Shaw, Kyra Walker, Elizabeth Catlett, and Gordon Parks among others. The display of works from the permanent collection is supplemented with temporary exhibitions that celebrate these artists.

Friends of African American Art enjoy a variety of events and activities, including behind-the-scenes tours of the collection with various curators, exhibition previews, opportunities to meet visiting artists, specialized gallery talks, and travel.

Become a Friend of African American Art


A white marble sculpture of a nude figure covering themselfFriends of American Painting, Sculpture, and Drawings

The Cincinnati Art Museum is a premiere venue for the study and enjoyment of American art, reflecting the city’s eminence as one of the nation’s first art centers. The Department of American Painting, Sculpture, and Drawings is responsible for collections, exhibitions, and scholarship pertaining to the fine arts in the United States from the eighteenth century to 1960.

The Art Museum has a special emphasis on the work of renowned Cincinnati masters including Hiram Powers, Robert S. Duncanson, Frank Duveneck, John Henry Twachtman, Elizabeth Nourse, and Edward H. Potthast. The extensive holdings also include iconic works by artists from across the country including Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Childe Hassam, Edward Hopper, Grant Wood, and Jacob Lawrence.

Friends of American Painting, Sculpture, and Drawings learn about the great artists and intrigues in the world of American art scholarship, collecting, and the marketplace through programs with experts in the field and visits to notable exhibitions at museums regionally and across the country.

Become a Friend of American Painting, Sculpture, and Drawings


A rough painting featuring the back of a person, a magnifying glass, and a chairFriends of Contemporary Art

The Cincinnati Art Museum supports living artists, whether they work in our region or across the globe. With hundreds of objects spanning all media, the Art Museum’s contemporary art collection demonstrates the myriad ways today’s artists engage with art history and with issues important in our time. Selections from this collection are currently on view in the Museum’s airy, loft-like third-floor gallery. Such acquisitions are complemented by temporary exhibitions that feature artists with local, national, and international reputations.

Friends of Contemporary Art receive intimate access to the department’s activities, and share in an ongoing dialogue about the art of our time. This encompasses behind-the-scenes events with Art Museum staff; a lively e-mail list with discussion of exhibitions and events around the world; and trips to regional venues for curator- and artist-led tours of exhibitions. These activities are designed not only for experts, but also for enthusiasts new to engaging with the art of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

Become a Friend of Contemporary Art


A modern, polished silver tea set including trayFriends of Decorative Arts and Design

Decorative Arts and Design objects were among the first acquisitions of the Cincinnati Art Museum at its inception in 1881, and collecting in this area has continued unabated to the present. The museum’s collection now includes almost seven thousand pieces of furniture, glass, ceramics, metalwork, and architectural design from the Western world dating from the seventeenth century to the present. Particular strengths of the collection are furniture, ceramics, and metalwork produced by Cincinnati artists and firms, eighteenth and nineteenth-century English silver, eighteenth-century French furnishings and architectural elements, and nineteenth-century English and European ceramics. The collection also includes historic glass from South Jersey, New England, and the Midwest; art glass by Lalique and Lobmeyr among others; and one of the oldest documented institutional collections of art glass by Louis Comfort Tiffany; American folk art; Art Deco furniture by Paul Frankl; and contemporary works across media.

Friends of Decorative Arts and Design will explore all of this and more through travel, curator-led tours and lectures, exclusive exhibition previews, workshops, and access to private collections.

Become a Friend of Decorative Arts and Design


An ornately carved object made from pantinaed metalFriends of East Asian Art

The Cincinnati Art Museum’s East Asian art collection consists of approximately 4,000 objects, tracing the development of India, China, Japan, Korea, Tibet and other cultures of the Far East from the Neolithic period to the present. The first works that would form this collection were acquired in 1881, making it one of the oldest collections art in the Northeastern United States. It is among the top fifteen collections of its kind in the country. Among the many art forms represented in this collection are bronzes, jades, Buddhist and Daoist sculptures, paintings, screens, ceramics, ivory and wood carvings, lacquer wares, enamel wares, furniture, suits of armor and weapon accessories.

The Friends of East Asian Art promotes interest and understanding of arts and cultures while keeping abreast of important developments in the world of East Asian art. Members will enjoy personal interaction with the curator, exhibition previews, private tours, behind-the-scenes events, and opportunities to meet like-minded enthusiasts.

Become a Friend of East Asian Art


A painting of two figures in a copse of trees with yellow and white flowersFriends of European Painting, Sculpture, and Drawings

The Cincinnati Art Museum’s collections of European paintings, sculpture, and drawings comprise over one thousand objects, ranging across nine centuries and representing all major European artistic traditions. Among the highlights are paintings by Renaissance masters such as Titian, Bronzino, and Cranach, as well as Baroque masterpieces by Rubens, Guercino, and the Frenchman Claude Lorrain. The collection is particularly strong in British eighteenth-century painting, including works by Hogarth, Benjamin West, Joshua Reynolds, in addition to two of the greatest masterpieces in the world by Thomas Gainsborough. The museum also owns perhaps the finest grouping of Barbizon landscapes in America, we well as landscape masterpieces by Courbet, Pissaro, Monet, Sisley,Van Gogh, and Derain. Highlights among the French drawings include world-class works by Degas and Cezanne. High modernism is also represented by important works by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.

Friends of European Painting, Sculpture, and Drawings will have an opportunity to tour specific areas of the collection with the curator and partake in curator-led trips to art fairs across the United States.

Become a Friend of European Painting, Sculpture, and Drawings


A green and orange dress with a stacked skirtFriends of Fashion

The Cincinnati Art Museum’s Fashion Arts and Textile collection was initiated in 1883. Broad in scope, it encompasses women’s, men’s and children’s dress and accessories from the late-eighteenth century to the present day. Major fashion designers including Charles Frederick Worth, Madeleine Vionnet, Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Charles James, Halston, Geoffrey Beene, Vivienne Westwood, Gianni Versace, and Issey Miyake are represented. Mirroring the Art Museum’s broad cross-cultural focus, holdings also include dress and textiles from around the world.

Friends of Fashion will have an opportunity to engage with others who share an enthusiasm for fashion and textiles. Members enjoy behind-the-scenes tours, private lectures, invitations to VIP events, sneak peeks at upcoming exhibitions, and exclusive travel opportunities.

Become a Friend of Fashion


Three kids look up to the sky in a couryard in this black and white photoFriends of Photography

Begun in 1899, the photography collection at the Cincinnati Art Museum encompasses nearly seven thousand objects and spans the history of the medium from the 1840s to the present. Like the medium of photography itself, our collection is vibrant and growing.

Become a Friend of Photography and join us for a festive annual party featuring a first view of new acquisitions, behind-the-scenes insight on upcoming projects, and exciting opportunities to build the collection. Throughout the year, enjoy private curator-led tours; exclusive programs designed to support enthusiasts, collectors, and artists; and news from the curator about photography happenings at the museum and beyond.

Become a Friend of Photography


A detailed print of two ships near a rocky, wooded shoreFriends of Prints

The Cincinnati Art Museum’s encyclopedic collection of prints, illustrated books, and posters date from the fifteenth century to the twenty-first century and represent a vital history of visual communication. The collection includes major holdings of master prints by Dürer, Rembrandt, Piranesi, Goya, Blake and Whistler as well as modern and contemporary masters ranging from Picasso to Dine. One of the key strengths of the collection is the extensive array of Cincinnati artists including Duveneck, Twachtman, and Strobridge Lithographing Co. circus posters. Current projects of the department include the digitizing of the collection and adding the works to the Art Museum’s online searchable database.

Friends of Prints will enjoy curator-led behind-the-scenes tours and lectures on museum exhibitions; private collection viewings; attend hands-on workshops and examinations of prints in the museum’s permanent collection; and have opportunities to travel to regional galleries and museums for print exhibitions. For Friends of Prints members who are interested in forming their own collection, the curator will annually lead a group to the New York Print Fair and related print week activities.

Become a Friend of Prints


A stone carving including a damaged face with long hairFriends of South Asian Art, Islamic Art and Antiquities

The Cincinnati Art Museum’s collection includes great strengths from around the world and throughout the breadth of human history. Tracing a trajectory that begins with pre-dynastic objects from the Ancient Middle East and culminating in contemporary works of art from India, Pakistan, Iran, and diasporic artists working in the US, members of this Friends Group will have exciting opportunities to discover the museum anew. Among the many art forms represented are architectural fragments, sculptural elements, paintings, ceramics, ivory, metalwork, and wood carving.

With over four thousand objects spanning more than a quarter of the globe since 3000BC, this Friends Group is uniquely positioned to promote the interest and understanding of the arts and cultures of a vast geographic region. Become a member and enjoy exhibition previews, private tours by the curator, behind-the-scenes events, and opportunities to socialize with like-minded individuals.

Become a Friend of South Asian Art, Islamic Art and Antiquities