Charles “Skip” Fleischmann was one of the most generous donors of works of art and funds for art purchase in the history of the Cincinnati Art Museum. A scholar-collector, his interests were unusually diverse and idiosyncratic. His eye for quality rarely erred, as he made decisions based on decades of intensive study.
European and American portrait miniatures were Fleischmann’s great passion, and his legacy includes approximately 2,000 examples illustrating the development of the art form its origins to the present day.· With a profound respect for scholarship, he supported his gift of portrait miniatures with a vast library with which to study them. Skip’s love of portraiture extended beyond miniatures to works in other media, including wax sculpture, an art form with historical importance but little appeal to collectors today—a tribute to his individuality. He also purchased hair jewelry as a partner collection to the miniatures, since portrait miniatures often feature hair work in their cases as mementos of loved ones.
In this exhibition, we curators tell the stories of working with one of our favorite patrons. Fleischmann attained deep satisfaction from his relationships with curators who shared his enthusiasm for works of art, and he relished every morsel of information we discovered about them. When asked with a convincing argument if he would contribute funds to help purchase an object for the collection, he could not resist. The selected objects reflect only a small fraction of the more than 3,000 contributions he made to the Art Museum’s collections. In addition to the categories noted above, his gifts include prints, drawings, photographs, paintings, bronze and marble sculpture, decorative arts, and textiles.
Please visit Gallery 213 on the second floor, to see two installations of miniatures drawn from the donations of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Fleischmann:
*Other Fleischmann donations are on view throughout the galleries.
Image: Tiffany & Co. (American, estab. 1837), Loving Cup, 1893, silver, gold gilt and ivory, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Fleischmann III, 2004.9