January 2017


Better than Good: The Photography of C. Smith

C. Smith C. Smith

For more than 60 years, Cincinnati photographer C. Smith has captured the African American community’s public struggles and its private celebrations. The Main Library will feature his photography in three exhibits: Better than Good: The Photography of C. Smith (Jan. 13-March 12) in the Joseph S. Stern, Jr. Cincinnati Room; From Downtown to Uptown Photographed by C. Smith (Jan. 13-March 12) in the Popular Library and Your Personal Photographer: C. Smith (Jan. 13-March 2) in the Atrium. Selected from six decades of images, the exhibits will feature multiple “firsts” in local African-American history and showcase national and local sport figures, religious leaders, politicians and entertainers.

C. Smith started his career at age 14 in 1949, when he developed film in a darkroom at the famed Cotton Club in the West End, C. Smith has become the most recognized African American photographer in Cincinnati. He was there to record black celebrities, such as James Brown, Ray Charles and Harry Belafonte when they visited the Queen City and local heroes like Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Oscar Robinson and Ezzard Charles. He has photographed the likes of U.S. Presidents (Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush) and religious leaders (Martin Luther King, Jr., Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama). In 2008, the Greater Cincinnati Urban League recognized Smith as one of its Glorifying the Lions award winners. Smith is in the Who’s Who in Black Cincinnati (2013) and the African American Chamber Greater Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky inducted him in its inaugural 2015 Black Business Hall of Fame class.

The Story Tree by ArtWorks Teens with Natsuko Dyer

The Story Tree The Story Tree

The Contemporary Arts Center donated the “Story Tree” to the Library so it would continue to inspire young readers. This work celebrates the global role of storytelling. The large tree mural was inspired by the beloved children’s book author Eric Carle to act as the connection between each story. On the limbs you will find boxes that reveal the story as each piece of Plexiglas is pulled out. The teens from ArtWorks chose a variety of stories from different countries and traditions — Hansel and Gretel, The Emperor’s New Clothes, James and the Giant Peach, How the Coyote Stole Fire, The Gingerbread Man, and Urashimo Taro. The "Story Tree" is on permanent view at the Madisonville Branch.

Cincinnati Transportation: Past, Present and Future

Cincinnati Transportation: Past, Present and Future is on display in the Main Library Atrium through Jan. 8, 2017 . The exhibit, done in partnership with Metro, features memorabilia connected to public transportation in the city of Cincinnati.

See the Polar Bear and Allosaurus from the Cincinnati Museum Center


The Cincinnati Museum Center’s polar bear now welcomes visitors to the Main Library. The polar bear, the Earth’s largest land predator, is on display in the Main Library Atrium near the elevators. The Main Library is also housing the Museum Center’s Allosaurus, a fearsome carnivore which sat atop the food chain over 150 million years ago and has been a favorite amongst visitors to the Museum Center’s Dino Hall. The Allosaurus is now housed on the second floor bridge spanning the north and south buildings of the Main Library, between the TechCenter and MakerSpace. Both pieces will remain at Main Library for about the next two years, as renovation work on the Museum Center is completed.

For additional information about any of the exhibits listed, please call our Programs & Exhibits Office at 513-369-3173.