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2020 at the Cincinnati Art Museum

by CAM Marketing Staff


2020 , Year in Review , Art Climb , Animal Crossing , Romare Bearden , CAM Connect , A Happening: Day of Giving , Hank Willis Thomas: All Things Being Equal… , Frank Duveneck: American Master , Women Breaking Boundaries , Anila Agha , Gorham Silver: Designing Brilliance 1850–1970 , Treasures of the Spanish World

Despite a rollercoaster of a year, the Cincinnati Art Museum hosted a wide range of virtual and in-person experiences including hosting our first virtual fundraiser, and opening the highly anticipated Art Climb, the new civic art space on the grounds of the museum. Let’s take a ride down memory lane.

The museum welcomed 2020 with the Special Olympics Hamilton Country Art Show from Jan. 25–Feb 1. We offered free admission for the opening weekend of  special exhibition Romare Bearden’s Profile Series in honor of Black History Month (thanks to the Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky African American Chamber and Radio One Cincinnati).

As COVID-19 first began in March, we partnered with the Contemporary Arts Center and Taft Museum of Art and made the tough decision to temporarily suspend operations.  CAM curators and staff donated 1,700 latex gloves and 160 masks to Mercy Health and we donated the food from the Terrace Café.

For the first time in 100+ years (possibly the only time in our history), the museum did not have public visitors to the museum for the month of April. We still managed to connect art lovers near and far with our new Facebook Group CAM Connect, which now has nearly 4,000 members. We also created virtual exhibitions and experiences like artwork for the Animal Crossing game.

In May, we encouraged folks to get outside and see the Art Climb complete with 164 steps added to hillside at the corner of Gilbert Avenue and Eden Park Drive.

With open arms, we reopened the museum to the public on June 20. Later in the summer, we added new artworks to the climb in partnership with Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park. Cincinnati Art Museum’s young professional group, CAM Catalysts, created a virtual experience to raise awareness and support the museum’s mission, A Happening: Day of Giving that raised tens of thousands of dollars for the museum.

September encouraged Cincinnati to think differently about justice and equality with the opening of special exhibition Hank Willis Thomas: All Things Being Equal… We put the museum grounds to work and activated the Art Climb as an official location to register to vote in October, but made the tough decision to temporarily suspend in-building visitation for a community health break in November.

In an attempt to close out 2020 with wellness, healing and art, the museum reopened for special engagement days and the opening of special exhibition Frank Duveneck: American Master on Dec. 19, 20, 26, 27. During this time, the museum’s exhibition ticket revenue was donated to support and raise awareness for ArtsWave’s 2021 Regional Artist Relief Fund that will make grants available for artists throughout Greater Cincinnati.

None of this would be possible without our donors, members, visitors, volunteers and staff. We look forward to reopening and welcoming you with open arms in 2021.


2020 Exhibitions & Special Features


Frank Duveneck: American Master, Dec. 18–March 28, 2020

Anila Quayyum Agha: All the Flowers Are for Me, Dec. 18, 2020–May 30, 2021

The Paper Sculpture Manual, online exhibition

do it (home), online exhibition

Black & Brown Faces, Oct. 23, 2020–Jan. 3, 2021

Women Breaking Boundaries versions 1 and 2, Oct. 11, 2019–Jan. 10, 2021

Hank Willis Thomas: All Things Being Equal…, Sept. 4–Nov. 8, 2020

Mizusashi: Japanese Water Jars from the Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz Collection, Aug. 18–Oct. 4, 2020

Gorham Silver: Designing Brilliance, 1850–1970, Mar. 13–July 5, 2020

“Something Over Something Else”: Romare Bearden’s Profile Series, Feb. 28–June 21, 2020

Mary Cassatt, Elizabeth Nourse and Their Contemporaries, Dec. 17, 2019–April 7, 2020

Women of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, Nov. 16, 2019–Feb. 23, 2020

Treasures of the Spanish World, Oct. 25, 2019–Jan. 19, 2020

Fired Up: Female Ceramists of Contemporary Japan, Dec. 7, 2019–Dec. 2020

The Levee: A Photographer in the American South, Oct. 5, 2019–Feb. 2, 2020

Mighty Women in Miniature, July 27, 2019–November 29, 2020


Upcoming exhibitions


Future Retrieval: Close Parallel, Feb. 26–Aug. 29, 2021

American Painting: The Eighties Revisited, March 12 – July 11, 2021

Paintings, Politics and the Monuments Men: The Berlin Masterpieces in America, July 9–Oct. 3, 2021

Unlocking an Art Deco Bedroom by Joseph Urban, Oct. 1, 2021–Jan. 16, 2022

Simply Brilliant: Artist-Jewelers of the 1960s and 1970s, Oct. 22, 2021–Feb. 6, 2022


2020 National News


2020 Awards


Decorative Arts Trust’s inaugural Prize for Excellence and Innovation finalist

One of four: Cincinnati Art Museum’s upcoming exhibition that recreates a bedroom designed by prominent Modernist Joseph Urban

December 7, 2020


Cincinnati Design Awards: Cincinnati Art Museum Art Climb (Human Nature)

All Entries > ASLA Planning & Analysis

See video here: (Climb starts at 20:49)

The Cincinnati Design Awards (CDA) program recognizes the best built-environment design produced by Cincinnati-area creative firms and promotes the social and economic value of good design in our community. Each year, a distinguished nationwide jury of design thought leaders and eminent practitioners presents the awards to projects submitted by local architecture, interiors, landscape, and experiential graphic designers.

Honor Award winners represent design conceived and executed at the highest levels of the profession. Fully realized and expertly crafted solutions like these make our environment more functional, beautiful, and inspiring for everyone.

November 12, 2020


Cincinnati Family Magazine Best of Parenting 2020
Best of Your City:
1. Cincinnati Museum Center‘s Duke Energy Children’s Museum
2. Cincinnati Art Museum
3. Taft Museum of Art

Best Enrichment:
Best Visual Arts Instruction
1. ArtsConnect
2. Cincinnati Art Museum

November 2020 issue,


Business Courier’s 2020 C-Suite Awards CEO Winner: Cameron Kitchin

Announced in email on 10/29/20, awarded on Dec. 1, 2020


2020 Greater Cincinnati Nonprofit of the Year Awards 

Cincinnati Art Museum = finalist in the Arts Appreciation and Arts Galleries/Exhibits category

Cincy Magazine

Email sent October 26, 2020


TripSavvy Editors’ Choice Awards 2020

Innovators: Cincinnati Art Museum

Third annual TripSavvy Editors’ Choice Awards, which honor the best of the travel industry. This year, winners were evaluated using new criteria that recognizes businesses, from large companies to hometown heroes, doing the most good for customers and communities during the global pandemic and fighting for equity and equality.

October 26, 2020


Best Visual Arts Instruction — 2020 Greater Cincinnati Family Choice Awards

October/November issue Cincy Magazine


TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Winner (top 10% of attractions worldwide)

“Each year, we comb through reviews, ratings, and saves from travelers everywhere, and use that info to award the very best. You’re part of an exclusive group, and we want to help you celebrate (and promote) this major accomplishment.”

July 28, 2020


Movers & Makers Readers Choice Awards 2019

Visual Arts Exhibit/Museum: No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man

Announced April 1, 2020


Ohio Museum Association 2019 Visual Communication Competition: Member Magazine, 1881

Issue 15 (Winter 2019–2020) has won a Gold Award


Travel + Leisure named Cincinnati one of the 50 best places to travel in 2021... and they called out CAM/Art Climb in their reasons why!


CityBeat’s Best Of Cincinnati® 2020

Reader Picks

  • #1 Art Museum
  • #1 Museum Exhibit – No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man
  • #1 Gift Shop
  • #1 Arts and Crafts Classes
  • #2 Museum in Cincinnati
  • #3 Free Attraction
  • #3 Building
  • #3 Local News Story of 2019 (highest attendance)
  • #9 Kid Friendly
  • #10 Northern Kentuckian – Jill Dunne


2020 USA TODAY 10 Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest for Best Free Museum

The top ten winners in this category are as follows:

  1. National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center
  2. National Museum of Mexican Art
  3. Baltimore Museum of Art
  4. The Walters Art Museum
  5. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art