Guide to Public Art



Downtown Cincinnati offers an outstanding collection of public art that is a 125 year legacy of the city's history, cultural attitudes and aesthetic taste. Earlier works use the human figure in heroic or allegorical monuments to commemorate people or events important to local history. Recent additions are abstract forms which have no recognizable subjects, but instead express thoughts or emotions. Seventy-five percent of the collection was added during the last 30 years, 6 commissioned in 1988 for the city's bicentennial.

Private donations, often raised through subscriptions, funded the early monuments in the city. in 1968, Traveler's Column by Arnoldo Pomodoro, placed in temporary storage for the construction of Fountain Square West, was the first acquired using public funds. in 1970, not long after the Pomodoro purchase, The Contemporary Arts Center organized the Monumental Art exhibition. This event introduced the community to a number of internationally recognized artists whose sculptures have become part of the public art collection - Mead more, Nevelson and Sugarman. Today, private donations as well as creative public/private partnerships, are instrumental in adding new works to Cincinnati's urban landscape.

Cincinnati's collection of outdoor sculptures, fountains, objects and paintings is a museum with no walls, no fees and no hours posted, and it is accessible to everyone every day. It enriches the city's quality of life, providing a sense of place and adding interest and vitality to the landscape. This site is designed to focus attention on the city's wealth of public art, to enhance understanding of the collection as a community resource and to expand the appreciation of diverse art forms.

To learn more about Cincinnati, A Guide to Art and Architecture in Cincinnati's Parks is available through the Cincinnati Park Board in Eden Park and Historic Walking Tours of Downtown Cincinnati is available at City Hall on Plum Street.

Public Art in Cincinnati :   

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