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A Transformative Acquisition

The Cincinnati Art Museum is delighted to announce the landmark acquisition of The Nancy Rexroth Collection. Numbering over three hundred photographic works, the collection includes a complete set of Diana camera pictures from both the 1977 and 2017 editions of Rexroth’s groundbreaking book IOWA, a number of previously unpublished images from the IOWA project, the artist’s finest early photographs, and remarkable images made outside the IOWA body of work in gelatin silver, platinum, SX-70 Polaroid Transfer, gum bichromate, 120mm film positive, and inkjet. These photographs are almost all rare vintage prints and in many cases, works that are unique in the world. They will be preserved together with archival material and photographs by other artists from Rexroth’s personal collection, enabling scholarship and appreciation of Rexroth’s work for generations to come.

This thrilling acquisition marks a transformative moment for the museum’s photography collection, which represents no other artist’s work in such unparalleled depth, scope and quality. It also marks the creation of the definitive collection of Rexroth’s artistic achievements—a chapter of photographic history the Cincinnati Art Museum is proud to steward.


In The Mind of Iowa and The Nancy Rexroth Collection (2021), CAM brings you fourteen minutes with some of the esteemed artists, curators, and collectors who have known and worked with Rexroth from the late 1960s to today.



Still curious? Take in a Q&A from the online premiere of The Mind of Iowa and Cincinnati filmmaker Ann Segal’s short conversational documentary, Light on IOWA. Rexroth and Segal are joined by Nathaniel M. Stein, CAM’s Curator of Photography.

About the Artist

a black and white self portrait of Nancy Rexroth

In the early 1970s, American photographer Nancy Rexroth (b. 1946) created a body of images that stands as a unique achievement in photographic history. Using a camera manufactured to be a toy, Rexroth rendered the rural towns of southeastern Ohio as a waking dream of white clapboard houses, innocent joy and half-remembered sadness. In 1977 she published her flickering landscape between lavender covers and named it IOWA—a book that has inspired countless photographers, and that continues to expand the parameters of the medium for viewers all over the world. Not a lover of limelight, Rexroth went on to make other bodies of work, and continued to teach photography at Antioch College and then Wright State University. For the past twenty years she has lived quietly in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Please enter the mind of IOWA with us and help bring The Nancy Rexroth Collection home.

For more information and to find out how you can support the research, care, and interpretation of the Nancy Rexroth Collection, please contact [email protected].