Art for All, Downtown — Fountain Square, Lytle Park, and Great American Ballpark

While downtown for the World Choir Games Opening Ceremony, Mark and I went in search of three more paintings from the Art for All exhibit.  We knew there was one at Fountain Square, but not exactly where at the square. I probably noticed this more yesterday because we were wandering around in 100 degree weather. If this heat front persists, I may have to cease and desist on this scavenger hunt until the fall.

In recent years the Fountain Square in the center of downtown Cincinnati has had a facelift and is experiencing a resurgence in activity. There always seems to be something happening on the square.

We found the painting on the right side of the square if you are facing the front of the fountain.

Portrait of a Man Rising from His Chair, 1633 by Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669), Dutch

The man portrayed here is unidentified, but his rich clothing shows that he was wealthy. “A portrait like this would have hung in the most prominent room of the house, where a host would greet his visitors,” (Art for All signage).

A closer look reveals vandalism on this reproduction. This saddens me. It is a sign of so much that is wrong with our society. No one should feel left out. There is no call for meanness, or destructive behavior. This art is for all of us. Why do people do things like this? I’ll never understand.

The Taft Museum. The Immaculata is visible in the background

Mark, who has always seemed impervious to heat, walked with a spring in his step, while I trudged beside him thinking of shade and a large cold glass of water, the entire seven blocks from Fountain Square to our destination. We passed the Metro Station where we expected to find a painting, but didn’t. (Now that I am home and looking closely at the map, the paintings location is actually Metro Bus Route 1, Bus # 1004. That might be tricky to get.)

We went on, in search of the painting in Lytle Park across the street from the Taft Museum, sponsor of Art for All, and home of the originals reproduced in this exhibit. I never before realized that the Church of the Immaculata is visible from this vantage point.

The Doctor’s Visit, about 1663, Jan Steen (1625/26-1679), Dutch

According to the sign, this painting is about “a young woman who is sick, and the doctor has come to take her pulse. Is it serious? Probably not. This story is a comedy starring a pretty young girl, an incompetent doctor, and a street-smart maid. To find out what’s really ailing this blond bombshell (Is she lovesick?) visit the Dutch gallery at the Taft Museum of Art,” (Art for All signage). I don’t know how they know this from looking at this painting, and can only surmise they have inside information. I may have to make a visit to get to the bottom of it.

The painting was at the far side of Lytle Park from where we entered (of course). We retraced our steps past the beautiful gardens and walked about four blocks more to the US Bank Arena where we enjoyed the Opening Ceremony of the World Choir Games inside in air-conditioning.

It was nearly dark when we left the opening ceremony. We walked a couple of blocks to the Great American Ball Park, where we found our third and final painting for the day hanging on a wall just outside the view of this camera shot to the left.

Charles Phelps Taft, 1902 by Raimundo de Madrazo Garetta (1841-1920), Spanish

Charles Phelps Taft was a lawyer, newspaper publisher, politician, and philanthropist. From 1914 to 1916, he owned the Chicago Cubs. Now his portrait hangs at the entrance to the home of the Cincinnati Reds. “He and his wife, Anna Sinton, acquired the works of art that now form the collection of the Taft Museum of Art,” (Art for All Signage).

About five blocks later we were back in our car and headed for home. Next time Mark says it’s just a couple of blocks, I’m going to check the thermometer right after I check a map.

 

Art for All, Downtown — Three Masterpieces

Mark and I drove downtown in Cincinnati yesterday for an open house at ArtWorks. While we were there we found and I photographed three more paintings on display outdoors through the Taft Museum’s Art for All program.

Findlay Market, downtown Cincinnati

First we went to Findlay Market. “Findlay Market is Ohio’s oldest continuously operated public market and one of Cincinnati’s most cherished institutions. The Market is located just blocks from downtown in Over-the-Rhine, a dense historic neighborhood rich in 19th century architecture. Open Tuesday through Sunday, Findlay Market is home year-around to about two dozen indoor merchants selling meat, fish, poultry, produce, flowers, cheese, deli, and ethnic foods. On Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from April to November the Market also hosts a thriving farmers market, dozens of outdoor vendors, numerous street performers, and lots of special events,” (www.findlaymarket.org).

Cattle in the Meadows, 1880, Willem Maris (1844-1910), Dutch

Number 1 out of 80, Cattle in the Meadows by Willem Maris is on display at Findlay Market. The organizers of the Art for All program tried to match up the subject matter of the paintings with the location.

“This bit of landscape, showing the low horizon and broad skies of the Netherlands, becomes a portrait of “three sisters”—cows seen at close range grazing in the tall grasses. They remind us of the famous dairy products of Holland: rich butters and Edam and Gouda cheeses, among many others,” (Art for All signage).

As a stroll through Findlay Market will fill your senses with the sight and aroma of meats and cheeses of all varieties, I think this was an excellent location choice for Maris’ Cattle in the Meadows.

Music Hall, downtown Cincinnati

Our next stop was Music Hall. “Built in 1878 with private money raised from what is believed to be the nation’s first matching grant fund drive, this Cincinnati showpiece has been renovated and updated and includes what is judged to be among the best and most beautiful concert theaters in the world,” (http://cincinnatiarts.org/musichall/).

Art for All at Music Hall in Cincinnati

Here we found the painting displayed on the wall under the shelter of the porch roof.

At the Piano, James Abbott McNeil Whistler, (1834-1903), American

At the Piano, 1858-59, by American James Abbott McNeil Whistler is number 2 out of 80. “Looking down at her hands, a woman in a full black gown plays  piano intently. A girl in a white dress leans against the piano, watching and listening to her mother. The piano itself is beautiful with decorative legs and rich wood grain. Although the piano separates mother and daughter, the music brings them together,” (Art for All signage).

Art Academy of Cincinnati – September 2011

Our final stop was the Art Academy of Cincinnati. We found The Cobbler’s Apprentice by Frank Duveneck hanging on the bare wall  you see in this photo taken last September.

The Cobbler’s Apprentice, 1877, Frank Duveneck, (1848-1919), American

“Why is this boy smoking a cigar? The picture was painted before people understood the dangers of smoking. Born in Covington, Frank Duveneck taught at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and painted the boy in Germany. The boy’s fingers are caked with dirt, his clothing is ragged, and his load is heavy,” (Art for All signage).

The location of this painting is particularly appropriate as Frank Duveneck was first a student and later a teacher at the Art Academy of Cincinnati.

 

Art for All at the VOA— Jacob Maris’ The Quay: A Dutch Town

I was taking Arthur for a walk this morning at the VOA (Voice of America Park) when I was greeted by this painting installed at the beginning of our loop around the lake. I wasn’t completely surprised because Mark had told me that the Taft Museum of Art is putting on the Art for All program and has installed 80 reproductions of its paintings around the Cincinnati area to celebrate its 80th anniversary. I just didn’t realize one was right here at the VOA.

The Quay is the first painting I saw and posted, but it is number 51 out of 80 on the Art for All website.

The Quay: A Dutch Town, probably 1880s, by Jacob Maris (1837-1899), Dutch

The Quay: a Dutch Town was likely painted in the 1880s by Dutch artist Jacob Maris. Here is the information on posted by the Taft Museum about this particular piece of art:

“Much of the Netherlands is bordered by the sea, and most of the inland areas are situated below sea level. The famous Dutch windmills and canals served as pumps and drainage ditches to keep Holland above water. This busy seaside scene illustrates Holland’s dependence on the sea for trade and fishing. Views of land and water, industry and architecture, abound…at your Taft Museum of Art.”

The Art for All open-air gallery is a gift from the Taft to remind the public of Charles and Anna Taft’s donation of their home and art collection 80 years ago. These gems belong to everyone.