As Eric M. Lee, whose last day as director of Taft Museum of Art is Friday, prepares to lead the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Tex., he leaves behind a smash-hit show: Fashion in Film: Period Costumes for the Screen. “We are trying to reach out to a broader audience with this show and it’s succeeding,” he says. “Our attendance is phenomenal.
Citing diminishing returns, the Cincinnati Art Museum has ended its relationship with Cincinnati World Cinema, a presenter of art films, classics, shorts collections and documentaries that had been using its auditorium since 2007. That has left the future unclear for those who feel Cincinnati needs a non-commercial outlet for such specialized films that otherwise wouldn't play here.
I wanted to dislike The Ascent at Roebling’s Bridge. Well, “wanted” is the wrong word. I expected to dislike the Ascent. Perhaps this could be due to my preference for old historic buildings, or maybe I presumed that such high aspirations would have to result in a stunning but alienating encounter.
As we enter a new year, my biggest wish for Cincinnati’s visual-arts scene in 2009 is a simple one — that we can hold onto what already is here. Lots of people in the local arts are struggling, along with the greater economy, and that puts what they’re doing at risk.
In what was a tough year all around, the visual arts scene in Greater Cincinnati managed to stay its ground in 2008. The primary presences are our museums, and they all had good years art-wise, although the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) was forced to make some staff layoffs late in the year as the national economy tanked.
Here are the 10 art shows that left the most impact on me in 2008, presented in no particular order and with regrets to the other fine exhibitions that just didn’t quite make this admittedly subjective list.
Museums have not been immune to the nations economic meltdown Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Arts endowment has calamitously plunged and Cincinnatis Contemporary Arts Center had to lay off five people, including its public relations director.
Toledo can be visited on a day trip, although you do have to save a good three or four hours to really see the museum's campus with its monumental, Ioniccolumned classical-style main building, additions and outdoor sculpture. Fridays are especially convenient for a visit, as the museum - which has free admission - is open 10 am.
Julie Carpenter is still young, but she thinks old is cool. A good thing, too, as her job makes her the public’s interface with the oldest brick house in Ohio, the Betts House Research Center at 416 Clark St., two blocks west of Music Hall.