Deb Ward, GWS, OWS, PWS, WSI - WATERCOLOR/WATER MEDIA - My passion is teaching adult “beginners”. Weekly classes in my home; workshops; classes for Cincinnati Recreation Commission. My work is nationally recognized and published - see “Featured” on my sidebar. I’m a Signature Member of Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana state Watercolor Societies, Cincinnati Art Club, past-President of Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society. Contact info below under “Class Information”

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Our main objective was the Romare Bearden exhibit and the small J.M.W. Turner exhibit.

I have to say, I did not know anything about Romare Bearden and did not expect to enjoy that exhibit, but was excitedly anticipating seeing the Turners. I toured the Bearden exhibit with an open mind and, turns out that I not only enjoyed the exhibit, but also came away with some design ideas rattling around inside my head!

Bearden was an African American artist known for his stylized paintings and collage work. This exhibit showcased his work in etchings, engravings, aquatints, lithographs, collagraphs, screenprinting, photo projections and monotypes.

Leaving that exhibit, it was on to the tiny Turners. And, by tiny I mean teeny tiny. Some of these works were about 3 in. x 5 in. and none were larger than 8 in. x 10 in. This collection was comprised of paintings created by Turner for book illustration. While Turner did not create the engravings from his paintings, he did oversee that process, which could take up to two years. Some of the engravings were in black and white, while some were colorized – but not necessarily in the colors that Turner had used in his paintings.

The museum staff had provided magnifying glasses to view these little paintings and they are amazing. When you look at them you can see there is “something” on that bridge – but with the enhancement of the magnifying glass you can see a carriage pulled by 4 horses with a coat of arms on the carriage door and groomsmen on the carriage and stained glass on the cathedral and . . . . well, you get the idea. Absolutely amazing! I decided he must have painted these with one rat whisker or something!!!

In his later years he turned to more abstract work. My theory is that his eyesight was long gone and he could not create any more detail. (Actually, that’s my theory for any artist whose work goes from minute detail to abstract over time. If anyone has actual knowledge about that, let me know!)

We then took a little time to just wander the main floor until it was time to leave. I took a couple of photos in that area – we were not allowed to photo anything in either the Bearden or Turner exhibits.

There is one Turner downstairs that I tried to get a photo of, but couldn’t, so I tried to get it as it is seen through the length of the various rooms.

I just love the boy smoking the cigar by Frank Duveneck – it always makes me smile. And Mr. Duveneck was one of the founders of the Cincinnati Art Club so maybe I feel some sort of connection to him. There is also a Farny (another CAC founding member) on that floor but I could not get a decent photo of it, no matter how hard I tried.
But I did get a somewhat decent photo of the Rembrandt. Wow, even though I’m not an oil paint lover, I can only marvel at the texture he achieved in that black coat and white lace. The skin tones are also amazing. (My camera has always had an aversion to indoor lighting – possibly something has been wrong with it for as long as I’ve owned it, so forgive these bad photos – I just wanted you to somehow enjoy them as much as I just did!)
Then it was time to go – but I know we will return again and again to see more of their featured exhibits.

Taft Art Museum

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