Ralph Fasanella (American, 1914–1997), Meeting at the Commons—Lawrence 1912, 1977, oil on canvas, 50 x 120 in. (127 x 304.8 cm), Collection of Richard Rosenthal, © Estate of Ralph Fasanella
William Hawkins, (American, 1895–1990), Did Comets Kill the Dinosaurs? #1, circa 1986, enamel house paint, cornmeal and collage on Masonite, 48 x 56 1/2 (121.9 x 143.5 cm), Collection of Richard Rosenthal, © William Hawkins, Courtesy Ricco/Maresca Gallery
Bill Traylor (American, circa 1853–1949), Exciting Event in Blue: Four Wild Men, Barking Dog, Perched Bird, and Construction, circa 1939–42, tempera, graphite pencil, and ink (or watercolor) on thin cardboard, 14 7/8 x 13 7/8 in. (37.8 x 35.2 cm), Collection of Richard Rosenthal, © Bill Traylor Family Trust
Nellie Mae Rowe (American, 1900–1982), Pink Pig, mid-20th century, crayon on paper, 16 1/16 x 20 1/16 in. (40.8 x 50.9 cm), Collection of Richard Rosenthal, © Nellie Mae Rowe, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Martín Ramírez (American, born in Mexico, 1895–1963), Untitled, Super Chief, 1954, graphite pencil and pastel (est.) on paper, 55 9/16 x 51 1/2 in. (141.2 x 130.8 cm), Collection of Richard Rosenthal, © Estate of Martín Ramírez courtesy of the Ricco/Maresca Gallery
Nek Chand (Indian, 1924–2015), Standing Man, circa 1951–80, painted fired clay, broken china, rocks and concrete, 34 1/2 x 12 x 12 in. (87.6 x 30.5 x 30.5 cm), Collection of Richard Rosenthal © The Nek Chand Foundation
Mary K. Borkowski (American, 1916–2008), Toil, Strength, and Devotion, 1973, hand stitching with silk thread on velvet, 20 1/8 x 29 1/4 in. (51.1 x 74.3 cm), Collection of Richard Rosenthal
The Thomas R. Schiff Gallery (Gallery 234)
With accompanying work from Visionaries + Voices in Gallery 235
Friends of American Painting, Sculpture, and Drawings
Works of art connect us. Yet mystery surrounds both our experiences of making them and our encounters with them.
Drawn from the collection of Richard Rosenthal and his family, this exhibition celebrates a promised gift to the Cincinnati Art Museum and features 38 works by self-taught artists from diverse cultures and circumstances.
Connected by a desire to communicate through art making—and by astonishing creativity and ingenuity—these artists, most from the 20th century, speak volumes. Their media include drawings, paintings, sculpture, and needlework. Their art materials range from the conventional to creatively repurposed ones like housepaint, cardboard, rocks, bottle caps, cans, even discarded scraps of wood.
The exhibition features artists recognized by the art world and museums as well as those whose creative output remained obscure or known only to close associates. They include Bill Traylor, Nellie Mae Rowe, Ralph Fasanella, Martín Ramírez, Thornton Dial, Nek Chand, and many others. We feature their works alongside those of French artist Jean Dubuffet, a champion of self-taught art.
The significant contributions to the Cincinnati Art Museum of Richard “Dick” Rosenthal and his family reflect a commitment to sharing works of art, making art widely accessible, and fostering creativity. Most notably, in 2003, a generous donation from the Rosenthal Family Foundation supported free, daily admission. Since 2011, the Rosenthal Education Center (REC) has provided hands-on art making experiences for drop-in visitors. Recently, Dick and Kitty Rosenthal were honorary chairs of the A New View campaign, which surpassed $65 million in fundraising. It is his hope that the promised bequest of art and this exhibition will gain wider appreciation for the work of self-taught artists and encourage the collecting and donation of their work.
This exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by the museum in association with D. Giles Ltd.
Hear verbal descriptions of highlighted artworks and interpretive content for the exhibition, wherever you are.
If you need accessibility accommodations for this program or event, please email [email protected]. Please contact us in advance to ensure accommodations can be made.
Thursday, June 8, 2023, 5–7 p.m.
Featuring Dr. Olivia Sagan, Professor of Psychology and Head of Division of Psychology, Sociology and Education from the Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh
Thursday, June 8, 7–8 p.m.
June 24, 2023, 1 p.m.
Thursday, August 31, 2023, 7 p.m.
September 2, 2023, 11 a.m.–noon
Saturday, September 16, 10:15–11:15 a.m.
Saturday, September 16, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Thursday, September 28, 6:30–8 p.m.
Saturday, October 7, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Charles Russell, Julie Aronson, Olivia Sagan
An illustrated interview by Julie Aronson with Richard Rosenthal provides special insight into the collector who has brought together this exceptionally diverse array of work. Essays by Olivia Sagan and Charles Russell look at the need for a more nuanced approach to these artists and their work, at the history of its appreciation (including terminology such as "Outsider Art"), and examine the work in the context of autobiography, trauma, connection, and remembering.