Open Tuesday–Friday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.*

Open 11 a.m.–8 p.m. the fourth Thursday each month

Open the second Saturday of every month, September–June

**The Library will close at 3:30 p.m on:


February 25, 2020

April 28, 2020

June 23, 2020

August 25, 2020


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(Select Location: Cincinnati Art Museum Library)

Please note that all materials are for use in the library only and may not be checked out.

Founded in 1881, the Mary R. Schiff Library has an extensive collection of over 100,000 items spanning 6,000 years of human art creativity, including decorative arts, fashion and photography. The collection includes books, reference resources such as biographical dictionaries, periodicals, DVDs, ephemera files, auction catalogs and online databases. The Library also has a unique assortment of materials on Cincinnati art and artists.

The Library is open to the public and highly qualified librarians will be happy to assist you and answer your questions. Library staff can also help if you’re looking for information on artwork or artists in the museum’s collection or in your own collection.

Visitors are also welcomed to browse the shelves, sit and read in the bright reading room, or enjoy a coffee on the balcony, while taking in the panoramic views of the city. For book lovers, there’s also an ongoing book sale.

The Mary R. Schiff Library is located on the third floor of the Longworth Wing of the Cincinnati Art Museum. Direct access to the Library via the Castellini entrance (in front of the Pinocchio sculpture), from there take an elevator to the Library.

Mary R. Schiff Library Events

Dialogues with Artists In the Mary R. Schiff Library 

At this event you will have an opportunity to hear two artists to articulate an answer to the question “Why do you make art and how does this determine your connection to your audience?”, as well as see up close their work. This popular event, now in its seventh year, moved to Thursday’s evenings, as the museum stays open till 8 p.m.

Informal conversation with artists is encouraged. Wine and cheese served. Free. Reservations not required.


Thursday, January 9, 2020 | 6:30–7:30 p.m.

About the artists: 

Kim Flora

A graduate of the Art Academy of Cincinnati, Ms. Flora received honors in both Fine Art and Art History and currently serves as Head of Installation, at the Cincinnati Art Museum.  Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, the industrial coastline continues to inform her work.  Ms. Flora has exhibited at Wright State University, the University of Wisconsin, the Carnegie Arts Center, Manifest Gallery, Wave Pool, as well as the Cincinnati Art Museum.  She was awarded a summer studio in Munich, Germany, through the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich and received a City of Cincinnati Individual Artist Grant in 2008.  Flora's work can be found in numerous private and public collections including Baltimore County Public Schools, Tente International, the Cincinnati Art Museum, and Jack Casino.

She makes paintings that capture the atmosphere and vibration of her surroundings, with a particular interest in the intersection of nature and architecture. Works are constructed through multiple layers of collage, pigmented wax, and paint that is brushed, scraped, gouged, poured, cut and otherwise manipulated to both revealing and concealing ends. This active, multimedia approach to image making serves to realign fragments of personal narratives while providing space for the viewer to reflect on their own memories and experiences.

Image: Halena Cline, Gemini, mixed media on paper, 12" by 161/2".

Photo by Michael Wilson

Halena Cline

Halena Cline has worked as a studio artist for most of her adult life. She has a studio at Pendelton Art Center in Cincinnati since 1990. Since her first solo show at The Carnegie Arts Center in Covington KY in 1982, her work has shown in many Cincinnati venues and elsewhere in the States: Montana, California, Alabama, among others.  She’s had international exhibits in both Cyprus and Germany. Her work is held in many national and international collections.

She produces work by using mediums that are experimental as well as those that are more traditional, used in a creative way. There is an underlying spiritual quality and philosophy at work in her paintings and ceramic sculptures. Things she likes to focus on are innocence, spirituality, and the influence of things that are often undetectable. There is an illusory slant to her work. Her penchant to put incongruent things into paintings, creating a paradox, is intended to persuade the viewer to analyze how the foreground and background might be related; sort of a mental puzzle.

She maintains a dedication in her work to children’s and women’s issues and those that are vulnerable in today’s society.


Thursday, March 12, 2020 | 6:30–7:30 p.m.

About the artists:

Image: (Right) Afterglow, 63" by 78", Fabric, paint, embroidery

Denise Burge, Professor, University of Cincinnati

Denise works in a variety of media, including drawing, animation, film, and fibers. One constant theme throughout the work is that of theatricality, fascination with objects of desire, and material ambiguity.  Her solo work, consisting primarily of painting and works in fabric, has been widely commissioned and collected, and included in two Quilt National exhibitions. Her collaborative work in film, animation and installation has been shown in several national and international film festivals. She has been awarded multiple awards and grants, including competitive residencies at the Headlands Center for the Arts, the Fine Art Work Center in Provincetown, and, most recently, the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans.



Image: Title: Mirror, Mirror, Artist: Sara Caswell-Pearce, Size: 18" x 14", Medium: hand-cut from a single sheet of Canson Mi-Tientes paper

Sara Caswell-Pearce

Sara Caswell-Pearce is a collage artist, printer and graphic designer. Her passion is for finding antique images and helping them tell a new story via complex, layered collages in which she combines original antique illustrations and ephemera with hand-painted backgrounds, hand-pulled prints, and handmade and hand-cut paper. 

There is a wry feminist slant in much of her work that began when she came across hand-painted fashion plates from Godey's Lady's Book, a wildly popular 19th-century monthly magazine.

She was named a “Best of Cincinnati 2019” by CityBeat as “best patron saint of paper.” Her work has been shown at many local and national exhibitions. She has a work in “Still They Persist,” a feminist exhibition that is touring the country. Currently, she is the Mercantile Library’s first artist-in-residence, and preparing new work for "Take Me Away," a solo exhibit that opens there next month.

She is the founder and creative director of the Paper With a Past Studio, co-author of Harper Ever After: The Early Work of Charlie and Edie Harper, and is a contributing artist/writer to Movers & Makers Cincinnati monthly.


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Contact Information

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (513) 639-2978