Six thousand years of human history will surround you in The Collections: 6000 Years of Art, which opens on December 1, 2011. In ten thousand square feet of space, the Cincinnati Art Museum
will display more than two thousand pieces drawn from its collection of over sixty thousand objects. With snarling Greek lions, fine furniture, tea pots, and fine silver all around you, the riches of what the best craft and creativity has left us will amaze you! Many of these pieces have not been on display before, and all reflect the very best of art history.
According to Cincinnati Art Museums Chief Curator James Crump Gallery designers, curators and the Director of the Museum Aaron Betsky, opened the door to the treasure chest that is our storage and put on view for the public the density and depth that make up this incredibly deep collection covering the span of six thousand years. Deciding which pieces would be part of this exhibition was the hard part, he added; Our selection was vetted by the curators of the departments, all of whom wanted to showcase areas of particular depth and density, and mainly objects not often on view.
The art on view will include antiquities, decorative design, paintings, and prints. Only 6% of the Cincinnati Art Museums permanent collection is ever out on the gallery floors at one time. This new exhibition gallery will give visitors a glimpse in one space into the massive holdings of the collection. A breathtaking collection of paintings hung salon style has found a home near antiquities that were once on view in the Schmidlapp Gallery. These objects share space with more than a hundred Japanese teapots and sake bottles. Visitors before could only enjoy six that were on display at a time. Featured pieces also include large numbers of Native American pottery, a collection of master prints from the Herbert Greer French bequest of graphic works, including prints by well-known European masters such as Thomas Gainsborough, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, and Giovanni Battista Piranesi. Selections, especially light sensitive works such as older master prints and fashion and textile arts, will change periodically. Others art will be on view for over a year at a time.
The materials will be on display on shipping crates, on racks, and in storage cabinets, all adapted so that you can enjoy them at close hand. Both physical and digital labels, including ones on Ipads in the gallery, will provide a wealth of information. According to Art Museum Director, Aaron Betsky: We have such an amazing array of works we hold in trust for this community, we felt it was time to start bringing some of these great images and objects out, Other art museums have open storage facilities, but we believe that none of them have made the art this accessible. We wanted them to be as easy to see as possible, and we hope that everybody in Cincinnati, as well as our out of town visitors, will enjoy them.