Art as Image: Prints and Promotion in Cincinnati, Ohio

The Smithsonian in Cincinnati: Exhibiting Prints at
the Ohio Valley Centennial Exposition, 1888

Curator, Graphic Arts Collection
National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Abstract: In 1996 the Smithsonian Institution celebrated its 150th anniversary, and the National Museum of American History mounted an exhibition marking 150 years of print collecting.  A review of the collection--the oldest in the Institution--indicated that some of the choicest prints, including a number of works by the Old Masters, had been purchased for two exhibitions: The Centennial Exposition of the Ohio Valley and Central States Cincinnati in 1888, and the Columbian Exposition at Chicago in 1893.  The Smithsonian exhibition of prints in Cincinnati comprised a retrospective that was something of a watershed, looking backward to the beginning of printmaking in Europe and in America, as well as forward to a new understanding of the parameters of art.  Etchings and other original prints would take pride of place in a new century, even as popular imagery exploded into the mass media brought about by the photomechanical revolution.  Visitors to the Smithsonian's exhibition in Cincinnati saw both together in 1888, the new visual world building on the graphic art of the past.
Fig. 6.1 1888 Centennial Exposition Of the Ohio Valley and Central States, Cincinnati, O. U.S.A. Official Guide [cover] view image
Fig. 6.2 Portrait of Sylvester R. Koehler (1837-1900) view image
Fig. 6.3 Smithsonian Exhibition at the Ohio Valley Centennial Exposition, Cincinnati. view image
Fig. 6.4 James L. Claghorn (1817-1884) view image
Fig. 6.5 Eagle Wharf view image
Fig. 6.6 Samuel P. Avery. / Fine Art Room. / 88 Fifth Avenue. Near The Fourteenth Street -- New York view image
Fig. 6.7 The Wallachian Team view image
Fig. 6.8 Kilgaren Castle view image
Fig. 6.9 Mary Louise Mclaughlin in Her Studio view image
Fig. 6.10 Ophelia view image
Fig. 6.11 Centennial Exposition of the Ohio Valley and Central States, Cincinnati, O. U.S.A. Official Guide. [U. S. Government Exhibit] view image
Fig. 6.12 Bull's Head view image
Fig. 6.13 The Pool view image
Fig. 6.14 Ariadne view image
Fig. 6.15 The Woman and Tambourine view image
Fig. 6.16 Death of the Virgin view image
Fig. 6.17 Christ Preaching view image
Fig. 6.18 La Madonna di S. Sisto di Rafaello. Della Reale Galleria di Dresda. view image
Fig. 6.19 Robert Gilmor, Esqr. of Baltimore view image
Fig. 6.20 John Walter Osborne (1828-1902) view image
Fig. 6.21 The First Hearing view image
Fig. 6.22 Ephraim Peabody view image
Fig. 6.23 Mending the Nets view image
Fig. 6.24 Specimen sheet view image
Fig. 6.25 Waterfowl view image
Fig. 6.26 The God of Wine view image
Fig. 6.27 Lady & Horse view image
Fig. 6.28 Long Beach, York Harbor, Maine view image
Fig. 6.29 The Reprimand view image

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