The Taft Museum of Art will celebrate its diamond anniversary with special exhibitions that complement the museum’s permanent collection.
The 75th Anniversary Gala will take place November 29 †the actual 75th anniversary of the day the museum opened in 1932. The gala will feature the opening for “Jewels of Time: Watches from the Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute,” on view November 30⁊anuary 27. These beautiful and historic timepieces call to mind the Tafts’ own collection of watches, as well as recognize the watch and clock making industries that are a part of Cincinnati’s history.
As the city celebrates its German heritage with Oktoberfest, the museum offers “Romanticism to Post-Impressionism: Nineteenth Century German Art from the Milwaukee Art Museum,” on view September 7⁎ovember 4. Gothic architecture, contemporary writing and the beauty of the landscape became new sources of inspiration for Romantic artists such as Schinkel, Olivier and Friedrich. This exhibition traces the developments that shaped the course of German art during a time of great national change.
German immigration and German American cross-cultural exchange helped to shape the culture of Cincinnati during the Nineteenth Century. In recognition of this fact, the Taft Museum of Art is presenting an exhibition of German fine arts from that formative century. It traces the development of German art by featuring 79 outstanding prints, drawings, watercolors and paintings from the Milwaukee Art Museum, which holds one of the premier collections of this material in the United States.
During the century of Germany’s political unification, many German artists sought to create a national art by using elements of German identity in their work. Romantic artists active during the first half of the century included Gothic cathedrals, pine forests and scenes from German literature in their images, for example. Even after unity was achieved in 1871, and German art opened more widely to European influences, it remained distinctive. German painters and printmakers produced unique variants of the international movements Impressionism, Naturalism and post-Impressionism.
Families are once again invited to celebrate the holiday season at the Taft, when “An Antique Christmas at the Taft Museum of Art” returns November 2⁊anuary 6. Festive ornaments and decorations from regional private collectors will adorn the historic house. A variety of rarely displayed objects and toys created during the years that the former house was inhabited (1820‱931) will grace its halls and rooms.
Notably, German feather trees made of wire and goose feathers will be trimmed with sparkling ornaments that were made in America or imported from around the world, such as glass icicles, end-of-day ornaments, Czechoslovakian beaded glass ornaments, Japanese Santa candy containers, American paper scrap and tinsel ornaments, Pennsylvania Dutch cotton batting ornaments and a range of glass ornaments.
Also on view will be porcelain dolls and charming Nineteenth Century toys. Festive greenery will deck the halls and exterior of the house, and the dining room will be set for the holidays with antique silver.
The exhibition “From Winslow Homer to Edward Hopper: American Watercolor Masterpieces from the Brooklyn Museum,” on view February 22⁍ay 11, looks at how the art of watercolor evolved over the course of the Nineteenth Century. Although the medium was regarded as secondary to oil painting around 1800, artists and their American audience came to view finished works in watercolor as objects worthy of exhibition and collecting.
“From Winslow Homer to Edward Hopper” offers a survey of diverse and compelling watercolors depicting the ever-changing American scene with works by Thomas Hart Benton, John La Farge, Thomas Moran, William Trost Richards and John Singer Sargent.
The anniversary season concludes with an exhibition from Italy’s famed Uffizi Gallery in Florence. From June 13⁏ctober 19, 2008, the Taft will be the only regional showing of the exhibition, “Painting the Italian Landscape: Views From the Uffizi.” This exhibition illustrates in a chronological review the evolution of the genre from the Renaissance of Botticelli to the Enlightenment of Canaletto. The works are drawn entirely from the collections of the Uffizi.
The Taft Museum of Art is at 316 Pike Street. For information, www.taftmuseum.org or 513-241-0343.