Cincinnati Art Museum to unveil major exhibit of Duveneck’s work

The Cincinnati Art Museum will present a major re-evaluation of the work of Frank Duveneck, the most influential painter in Cincinnati history, from Dec. 18 through March 28.

Through his work as a painter and printmaker and as a charismatic teacher, Duveneck had a substantial and enduring influence on the international art world of his time. More than 90 examples of the Kentucky native’s work from the museum’s holdings, plus 35 pieces on loan from collections across the United States, will provide a fresh, in-depth look at this important artist.

“The Cobbler’s Apprentice”

Duveneck was born in Covington to Westphalian immigrants in 1848. He studied in Munich, where he became an influential teacher, and spent nearly two decades in Europe. His work reflected the impact, not only of modern German art, but also French and Italian work. His paintings’ lack of finish and assertive brushwork parallel Impressionism, and his work as a printmaker positioned him centrally in the period’s etching revival. 

Returning to the United States in 1888, Duveneck taught at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, where he became director of the faculty in 1905, acting as a mentor and advisor to collectors and CAM staff. Duveneck’s impact on the Cincinnati art world remains unparalleled.

Self-portrait of Frank Duveneck

This is the first exhibition in 30 years to dive deep into Duveneck’s artistic development, his working methods, and the historical and social context of his subjects. Presenting new research, the exhibition upends many common misconceptions and reveals the artist’s accomplishments across subjects and media, including oil paintings, drawings, watercolors, pastels, etchings, monotypes, and sculpture. 

The paintings of streetwise kids and informal portraits for which he is renowned are accompanied by society portraits, Bavarian landscapes, Venetian harbor views, depictions of Italian city and country folk, renderings of the nude figure and more. 

The exhibition will be on view in CAM’s Western & Southern galleries (G232 & G233). Tickets are free for members and will soon be available for purchase by the general public at the Cincinnati Art Museum front desk and online.

“At Anchor, Venice”

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