Preparing for rehab, Taft Museum ‘deinstalls’ permanent collection

Ever since the Taft Museum of Art opened to the public in 1932, the personal art collection of Anna Sinton Taft and Charles Phelps Taft has been displayed throughout the Tafts’ former home. 

But for only the second time since the museum’s creation, the Taft’s prized artworks will be temporarily removed from the beloved 1820 landmark to prepare for the much-anticipated Bicentennial Infrastructure Project, set to begin this August. Supported by the Love This House capital campaign, the project will ensure the future stability of the 200-year-old historic house.

The historic Taft Museum of Art

To prepare for rehabilitation, the Taft begins deinstalling the permanent collection in late May. 

Two exhibitions will be drawn from the collection:

  • “In a New Light | Treasures from the Taft,” opening July 3 at the Taft
  • “Borrowed Gems from the Taft Museum of Art,” opening July 23 at the Cincinnati Museum Center

Each show will let audiences continue to enjoy the museum’s artworks, but also offer up new insights as the works get reinterpreted for a 21st-century audience.

“The Bicentennial infrastructure Project has been long-awaited for the Taft Museum of Art. We are humbled and filled with joy that after the ordeals of the last year, our community continues to see the value in this project and how it will not only support the integrity of the house but enable us to continue our meaningful work in the Cincinnati community and beyond,” said museum President/CEO Deborah Emont Scott.

Deborah Emont Scott

Starting in late May, select galleries will become publicly inaccessible on a rolling basis. By early June, the full footprint of the historic house will become inaccessible during the rehabilitation project, set for completion in spring 2022. The deinstallation also includes caring for objects such as the custom window treatments found throughout the home, protecting the 150-year-old Duncanson murals, and monitoring the home’s environment.

During the project, the museum will remain open to the public, offering complimentary admission; guests are encouraged to apply the suggested donated admission ($10) to the Love This House campaign. Guests will have access to the “In a New Light” exhibition and to museum amenities (following the museum’s health and safety protocols), including the Lindner Family Café, Museum Shop, and special programs and events.

The 40-work exhibition at the Cincinnati Museum Center will feature portraits and landscape paintings from masters such as Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Charles François Daubigny, and Thomas Gainsborough and decorative arts featuring Qing dynasty ceramics and 18th-century golden watches. Additional details will be announced.

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