Cincinnati Collects America reflects two hundred years of creativity and a broad spectrum of artists, styles, media, and thematic interests. Side by side are works by artists of varying ethnicity, native and foreign born, male and female, local and expatriate. The exhibition takes you on a journey from Maine to New Mexico, with a stop to linger in Cincinnati, a mecca for American artists for both its cultural traditions and innovations. In the decorative arts, you will see superior craftsmanship, ingenuity, and design executed by trained and untrained artists alike. American landscape paintings included here express a reverence for the native wilderness, while city views capture the energy of commerce. And, the faces of America are revealed in compelling portraits that contrast with ever-popular images of ethereal women portrayed on canvas and ceramics.
Cincinnati collectors are diverse in their interests, but unified by their passion and intellectual engagement with the art they collect. Enthusiasm for American history goes hand in hand with aesthetic enjoyment as they approach their consummate “hobby.” For most of them, Cincinnati’s artistic heritage has played a foreground role in fostering their desire to collect and in the objects they choose to live with. Their stories reflect the seductive power of the hunt for great works of art and the sentiment of personal associations. From the most sophisticated pottery and paintings to ingenious folk carvings, Cincinnati Collects America reveals the eye for quality and beauty among those who call the Queen City home.