What’s new at the museums

New exhibitions open in February at all three of Cincinnati’s major art museums. They explore subjects as diverse as the changing styles of the great Parisian jewelry houses to the historical development of Japanese prints, and black men’s sense of their own identity. Then there’s the provocative work of an Ohio-born artist who now boldly plants herself at the intersection of art-making, social justice and political activism.



Andrea Bowers: Womxn Workers of the World Unite!

Contemporary Arts Center, Feb. 10-June 18

Andrea Bowers, “Les Répondeuses,” 2014

Andrea Bowers, “Les Répondeuses,” 2014. Image courtesy of the Artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York

Andrea Bowers was born into “an apolitical Republican family” in Wilmington, Ohio. Now based in Los Angeles, she surrounds herself with a world filled with civil disobedience, political activism, women’s, gay and trans rights. She uses drawing, photography, video, collage, craft, performance, participation and archival research as tools to raise awareness. This exhibition focuses on her survey of the feminist movement.



Noel Anderson: Black Origin Moment

Contemporary Arts Center, Feb. 10-June 18

Noel Anderson, “The Sportsman” [detail], 2016.

Noel Anderson, “The Sportsman” [detail], 2016. Image courtesy of the Artist and Jack Tilton Gallery, New York

Known for complex investigations into the evolving make-up of black male identity, Noel Anderson draws on everything from textiles and prints to video and live performance in his work. This exhibition of work by the University of Cincinnati professor, now working in New York City, grew out of his performance work based on interviews with black men. He produces a series of intimate interviews/recollections as to the origin and genealogy of black consciousness by asking “When did you know you were black?”



Bijoux Parisiens: French Jewelry from the Petit Palais, Paris

Taft Museum of Art, Feb. 11-May 14

Husson, Brooch, about 1880. Gold, diamonds, emeralds,

Husson, Brooch, about 1880. Gold, diamonds, emeralds, and enamel. Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris. © Julien Vidal / Petit Palais / Roger-Viollet

Glorious pieces from the great Parisian jewelry houses Cartier, Lalique, Van Cleef & Arpels and others star in the exhibition opening at the Taft. Filled with sparkling gems, luxurious materials, elegant designs and superb craftsmanship, the exhibit traces changing styles from the 17th through the 20th century. The 75 pieces are from the collection of the Petit Palais, one of greatest museums in Paris.



Dressed to Kill: Japanese Arms and Armor

Cincinnati Art Museum, Feb. 11-May 7

Japan, Suit of Armor, Late 18th century

Japan, Suit of Armor, Late 18th century, metal, leather, Museum Purchase, 1892.2783

“Dressed to Kill” explores the powerful influence of the samurai “way of the warrior” on the history and culture of Japan.
The Cincinnati Art Museum houses one of the oldest and most extensive Japanese art collections among all U.S. museums. Much of this exhibition of more than 130 warrior-related items comes from the CAM collection. Gary Grose, a collector of Japanese arms and armor who grew up near Seattle and now lives in Cincinnati, also provided items.
Among pieces on display: 11 full suits of armor, weapons, banners, costumes, prints and paintings – many on view for the first time.



Transcending Reality: The Woodcuts of Kosaka Gajin

Cincinnati Art Museum, Feb. 11-May 7

Kōsaka Gajin, “Nara, Todai-ji,” 1952, woodcut

Kōsaka Gajin, “Nara, Todai-ji,” 1952, woodcut, Centennial Gift of The Howard and Carline Porter Collection,1980.67

“Transcending Reality,” the first U.S. solo exhibition of the woodcuts of Japanese artist Kōsaka Gajin (1887–1953), draws from the CAM’s Howard and Caroline Porter Collection. That collection is second only to the holdings of the artist’s family in Tokyo. The exhibition of prints capturing the beauty of Japan’s landscape and architectural monuments is of his later woodcuts.


The Weisman gift of Japanese prints

Ryusai Shigehara (1803–1853), Japan

Ryusai Shigehara (1803–1853), Japan, “Nakamura Utaemon III as Taira no Tomonori,” 1831, color woodcut. Joel and Bernice Weisman Collection in memory of Jay Weisman

The CAM has acquired 800 rare 17th-20th century Japanese prints from the late Joel Weisman and his wife, Bernice Weisman.

Prints from the Weisman collection will be featured in the special exhibition “Dressed to Kill: Japanese Arms & Armor.”

The gift, announced in January, is one of the largest additions ever to the museum’s permanent collection. The Weismans also donated 82 prints in 2006.
The Cincinnati couple began collecting Japanese prints in 1956. Joel Weisman, who passed away in April 2016, focused on collecting to showcase the historical development of the prints.

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