Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Taft set to reopen in May

Art museum: End of renovations in sight

By Marilyn Bauer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The much-loved Taft Museum of Art will reopen on May 15, 2½ years after it closed for extensive renovation. The $19 million project, which doubles its size, includes the construction of a new wing, parking garage, garden and the refurbishing of the 1820s Federal house.
Phillip Long, Director of the Taft Museum of Art, gives a tour of the facility to Lynne Ambrosini, an independent curator from Minneapolis.
(Gary Landers photo)
| ZOOM |

"It is thrilling to be able to announce the reopening of the Taft after so long a period of renovation," says Phillip C. Long, the museum's director. The opening, originally set for late summer, was delayed by the wet spring of 2002.

Also announced was the first exhibition in the new wing: To Observe and Imagine: British Drawings and Watercolors, 1600-1900. Organized by the Morgan Library in New York, it includes the work of Thomas Gainsborough, J.M.W. Turner, Sir Joshua Reynolds, William Blake and John Constable.

When the museum reopens in May, visitors will see:

• The Duncanson murals, restored in the 1990s, surrounded by trompe l'oeil mahogany and oak trim.

• Refurbished intricate plaster ceilings.

• A new wing, with a circular staircase entrance leading to exhibition space for traveling shows; new auditorium and catering kitchen.

• New gardens: a formal lawn bordered by flowering shrubs and perennials; an informal strolling garden with fountains; cafe terrace for al dente dining; a brick and bluestone paved terrace flanked by trees in planters to serve as the staging area for special events.

• New gallery lighting.

• New carpet, wall colors, wallpaper, draperies with historically-inspired design.

• Tea room.


E-mail mbauer@enquirer.com

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