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The Mary R. Schiff Library & Archives is CLOSED until further notice

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:


April 28, 2020

June 23, 2020

August 25, 2020


View the Online Catalog

(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, April 30, 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