Cincinnati Art Museum named finalist for 2021 IMLS National Medal for Museum and Library Service; Pinocchio returns


The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced today that the Cincinnati Art Museum is among 30 finalists for the 2021 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries that demonstrate significant impact in their communities. 

“The revival and reinstitution of the National Medals by IMLS is another signal of recovery and renewal in the nation’s very challenging – but very hopeful – times,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “We are celebrating not only the ongoing excellence of the best of our museums and libraries, but their extraordinary efforts through the pandemic, the recession, the racial justice protests, and national divisions to serve, heal, and bring together our communities.”

Cameron Kitchin

To celebrate this honor, IMLS is encouraging Cincinnati Art Museum’s community members to share stories, memories, pictures, and videos on social media as part of the Share Your Story campaign, using the #IMLSmedals hashtag, and engage with IMLS on Facebook and Twitter. For more information, visit the IMLS website.

“At a time when healing and wellness are integral to every community’s civic agenda, museums are more essential than ever,” said Cameron Kitchin, Cincinnati Art Museum’s Louis and Louise Dieterle Nippert Director. “We are pleased to learn that our art museum’s collaborations, partnerships and innovations have been recognized as central to Cincinnati’s resilience and recovery.”


Pledging to be truthful, the Cincinnati Art Museum announced the reinstallation of “Pinocchio (Emotional)” – the 12-foot-tall bronze sculpture by Cincinnati native Jim Dine.

The much-beloved, iconic artwork was temporarily removed from the museum on Sept. 23, 2020 while the museum’s parking lot and new arrival court were under construction. 

During its six-month hiatus, “Pinocchio” underwent conservation treatments to keep its painted surface protected from the harsh outdoor environment.

Now, visitors can enjoy the sculpture in a slightly new location, approximately 500 feet away from its original spot, near the parking lot—perfectly positioned for selfies with the museum entrance in the background.

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