The narrowing eyes glance sideways across the room and seem to ask, “What are you
looking at?” At the same time, they draw you into the small Sinton
Gallery at the Taft Museum of Art. Inside, other young black males meet
your gaze from every direction.
On the first Wednesday of each month, a
group of special visitors gathers in one of three participating
Cincinnati museums for a tour designed expressly for them. The group
includes people whose memories are fragile in the extreme and their
guests, the family members or others who accompany them.
In 1850, when Robert S. Duncanson was
painting landscapes on the hallways of what is now the Taft Museum of
Art, art itself had a somewhat different place in popular culture than
it has today. Duncanson’s landscapes are idealized scenes of nature and,
as such, are considered uplifting.
Daguerreotypes: someone sitting stiffly,
right? Ninety-nine percent of daguerreotypes would fit that
description, says Tamera Muente, the Taft Museum of Art’s installing
curator for its current show, Photographic Wonders. The surprise of the show, she adds, is that virtually all of it is drawn from that other one percent.
Pages of History: 80 Years at the Taft was on view Aug. 10-Jan. 6, and I saw it on the last day. I found it so fascinating — and such a role model for a show about a cultural institution — that it’s worth discussing even though it’s over.
If you drive to Columbus by Dec. 30, you can see a photography show — Annie Leibovitz
— that serves as the culmination to the journey through
celebrity/fashion photography begun by three FotoFocus-related museum
Why are Hollywood glamour photographs on
display at the Taft Museum of Art? FotoFocus isn’t reason enough; the
Taft likes to establish a tie between the renowned permanent collection
and temporary exhibitions. So what is Myrna Loy doing here?
As the mercury begins its steady ascent
and the humid days give way to sultry nights, the climate-controlled
environs of Cincinnati’s art galleries beckon. But with the spring
season nearing its end and several galleries paring back their
programming, despite best efforts to beat the heat, this summer’s
hottest works are going to be found outside.