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museum friends

We invite you to become more than a member of the Cincinnati Art Museum- we invite you to participate directly in the Art Museum's stewardship of its vast collection of over sixty thousand works of art spanning six thousand years of human history. Learn more about the art that most excites and intrigues you, spend time with our curators, and join a community of collectors and art enthusiasts such as yourself. Whether your passion is American Art or Old Masters, Prints or Photography, Chinese scrolls or Cincinnati silver, you will have an opportunity to explore it in-depth as a Friend of the Art Museum.


The Art Museum brings people and art together in ways that transform their everyday lives and their community. It is one of Cincinnati's greatest cultural assets and a magnet for creativity and creative individuals and companies. The Friends of the Art Museum creates a  new opportunity for you to discover ways art can become an integral part of your life, enriching and framing how you experience the world. By joining a Friends group of like-minded individuals, you will find out more about the ideas inherent in the art that is specifically of interest to you.


Friends members also enjoy special benefits, including invitations to exclusive behind-the-scenes tours of permanent collections, visits to private collections and artists' studios, and special lectures and discussions led by curators and guest speakers. Your membership will help support the Art Museum's mission to offer educational, life-enhancing experiences to those individuals who have special interests in the art we present. Become a member of the Friends of the Art Museum and become closer to the art you enjoy.


For more information regarding Friends of the Art Museum contact Director of Development Kirby Neumann at (513) 639.2873.


Friends of American Painting, Sculpture, and Drawings

The Art Museum is a premiere venue for the study and enjoyment of American art, reflecting the city's eminence as one of the nation's first art centers. The Department of American Painting, Sculpture, and Drawings is responsible for collections, exhibitions, and scholarship pertaining to the fine arts in the United States from the eighteenth century to 1960. The Art Museum has a special emphasis on the work of renowned Cincinnati masters, including Hiram Powers, Robert S. Duncanson, Frank Duveneck, John Henry Twachtman, Elizabeth Nourse, and Edward H. Potthast. The extensive holdings also include iconic works by artists from across the country, including Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Childe Hassam, Edward Hopper, Grant Wood, Jacob Lawrence.


Friends of American Painting, Sculpture, and Drawings will have an opportunity to learn about the great artists and intrigues in the world of American art scholarship, collecting, and the marketplace through programs with experts in the field and visits to notable exhibitions at museums regionally and across the country.


Friends of Antiquities

Among its varied holdings, the Department of Classical and near Eastern Art possesses a distinguished collection of ancient art from the Mediterranean and the Near East. Spanning some four thousand years from the fourth millennium B.C. to the early centuries A.D., this notable collection features major examples of stone sculpture, decorated metalwork, painted wall carvings, and ceramic vessels from ancient Egypt and the Greek and Roman realms of the Mediterranean. Among its Near Eastern archaeological treasures is a rare and important collection of Nabataean sculpture and decorated architecture from Jordan. These Nabataean holdings and key works of Egyptian art have laid the foundation for a number of major exhibitions, including Petra: Lost City of Stone and Mistress of the House, Mistress of Heaven: Women in Ancient Egypt.


Friends of Antiquities will have an opportunity to discover in-depth artworks from the Art Museum's extensive permanent collection through curator-led discussions, programs, and exhibition previews.


Friends of Asian Art

The Art Museum is fortunate to have an extensive East Asian art collection of approximately four thousand objects, tracing the development of India, China, Japan, Tibet, and other cultures of the far East from the Neolithic period to the present. The Art Museum acquired the first works that would form its East Asian art collection in 1884, making it one of the oldest museum collections of East Asian art in the Northeastern United States. The Art Museum's varied collection is among the top fifteen art collections in the country, and includes bronzes, jades, Buddhist Daoist sculptures, paintings, screens, ceramics, ivory and wood carvings, lacquers, enamel wares, furniture, armors, and weapon accessories. The department of Asian Art has recently presented several special exhibition projects dedicated to promoting interest and understanding of Asian art, including China Design Now and Roaring Tiger and Leaping Carp:Decoding the Symbolic Language of Chinese Animal Painting.


Friends of the Asian Art will have an opportunity to review new scholarship and insights into historic and modern art from Asia through curator-led discussions and trips to exhibitions at regional and national museums.


4th Floor Friends of Contemporary Art

Since its founding, the Art Museum has supported the work of living artists through the acquisition of works and the contemporary art collection continues in this tradition. The constantly growing contemporary art collection encourages understanding of our times and cultures through art produced around the corner and around the world. As the only public collection of contemporary art in Cincinnati, it offers a living archive of today's art while also preserving and documenting these works for future generations.


The 4th Floor offers a relaxed, friendly atmosphere for those who are interested in learning about contemporary art and starting their own collection. Members will deepen their knowledge of contemporary art and the local art scene through a variety of events, including visiting local artists' studios, behind-the-scenes gallery tours, and special programs. 4th Floor members also play a key role in the biennial 4th Floor Award, which is open to professional artists in the Tri-State area and offers the winner $1,000 and exclusive exhibition at the Art Museum.


Friends of Conservation

The Conservation Department works diligently to preserve the Art Museum's permanent collections based upon curatorial priorities and preservation needs of the objects. Primary to this responsibility is the care and conservation of over sixty thousand artworks in virtually all media through scientific examination and treatment. Conservators also provide invaluable assistance with curatorial research and special exhibitions, as well as permanent displays. The three conservators, one each for paintings, objects and works on paper, also initiate research and scholarly papers for their specific fields within art conservation.


Friends of Art Conservation will enjoy a special behind-the-scenes look at the Conservation Department through tours of current projects underway in the Conservation Laboratory, workshops on caring of private collections, including the cleaning and care of silver, proper display of paintings and works on paper, caring for fine furniture, and how to organize and store family archives, and lectures on conservation projects related to Art Museum exhibitions.


Friends of Decorative Arts and Design

Decorative arts and design objects were among the first acquisitions of the Art Museum at its inception in 1881, and collecting in this area has continued unabated to the present. The Art Museum's collection now includes almost seven thousand pieces of furniture, glass, ceramics, metalwork, and architectural design from the Western world dating from the seventeenth century to the present. Particular strengths of the collection are furniture, ceramics, and metalwork produced by Cincinnati artists and firms, eighteenth and nineteenth-century English silver, eighteenth-century French furnishings and architectural elements, and nineteenth-century English and European cermics. The collection also includes historic glass from South Jersey, New England, and the Midwest; art glass by Lalique and Lobmeyr among others; and one of the oldest documented institutional collections of art glass by Louis Comfort Tiffany; American folk art; Art Deco furniture by Paul Frankl; and contemporary works across media.


Friends of Decorative Arts and Design explore all of this and more through travel, curator-led tours and lectures, exclusive exhibition previews, workshops, and access to private collections.


Friends of European Painting, Sculpture, and Drawings

The Art Museum's collections of European paintings, sculpture, and drawings comprise over one thousand objects, ranging across nine centuries and representing all major European artistic traditions. Among the highlights are paintings by Renaissance masters such as Titan, Bronzino, and Cranach, as well as Baroque masterpieces by Rubens, Guercino, and the Frenchman Claude Lorrain. The collection is particularly strong in British eighteenth-century painting, including works by Hogarth, Benjamin West, Joshua Reynolds, in addition to two of the greatest masterpieces in the world by Thomas Gainsborough. The Art Museum also owns perhaps the finest grouping of Barbizon landscapes in America, we well as landscape masterpieces by Courbet, Pissaro, Monet, Sisley,Van Gogh, and Derain. Highlights among the French drawings include world-class works by Degas and Cezanne. High modernism is also represented by important works by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.


Friends of European Painting, Sculpture, and Drawings will have an opportunity to tour specific areas of the collection with the curator and partake in curator-led trips to art fairs across the United States.


Friends of Fashion

The Art Museum's Fashion Arts and Textile collection was initiated in 1883. Broad in scope, it encompasses women's, men's and children's dress and accessories from the late-eighteenth century to the present day. Major fashion designers including Charles Frederick Worth, Madeleine Vionnet, Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Charles James, Halston, Geoffrey Beene, Vivienne Westwood, Gianni Versace, and Issey Miyake are represented. Mirroring the Art Museum's broad cross-cultural focus, holdings also include ethnic dress and textiles from around the world.


Friends of Fashion will have an opportunity to engage with others who share an enthusiasm for fashion and textiles. Members enjoy behind the scenes tours, private lectures, invitations to VIP events, sneak peeks at upcoming exhibitions, exclusive travel opportunities with Curator Cynthia Amnéus and more.


Friends of Photography

The photographs collection at the Art Museum is comprised of nearly four thousand objects spanning the history of the medium from its inception to the present day.


Friends of Photography receive intimate access to the department’s activities and share in a forum for ideas pertaining to collecting and promoting the photographic arts. The group shares in seminars and viewing sessions led by Associate Curator Brian Sholis, as well as trips to local and regional exhibition venues. Additionally, members will enjoy an annual trip to a national or international destination in order to receive private tours of museum exhibitions and commercial galleries, visit collectors’ homes and artists’ studios, and engage in that city’s arts scene. These activities will generate an exciting dialogue about the most democratic artistic medium—one that is undergoing revolutionary technological changes.


Membership fees support the acquisition of artworks for the collection, honoraria for visiting artists and other speakers, and other photography-related programming.


Friends of Prints

The Art Museum's encyclopedic collection of prints, Illustrated books, and posters date from the fifteenth century to the twenty-first century and represent a vital history of visual communication. The collection includes major holdings of master prints by Dürer, Rembrandt, Piranesi, Goya, Blake and Whistler as well as modern and contemporary masers ranging from Picasso to Dine. One of the key strengths of the collection is the extensive array of Cincinnati artists including Duveneck, Twachtman, and Strobridge Lithographing Co. circus posters. Current projects of the Department include the digitizing of the collection and adding the works to the Art Museum's online searchable database.


Friends of Prints will enjoy curator-led behind-the -scenes tours and lectures on Art Museum exhibitions; view private collections;attend hands-on workshops and examinations of prints in the Art Museum's permanent collection; and have opportunities to travel to regional galleries and museums for print exhibitions. For Friends of Prints members who are interested informing their own collection, the curator will annually lead a group to the New York Print Fair and related print week activities.