May 2018


Panorama of Progress: Building A City In The Photographic Age

Rolling River

September 29 – October 31

On Sept. 24, 1848 Charles Fontayne and William S. Porter—using one of the earliest forms of photography, daguerreotype—photographed Cincinnati from atop a building in Newport, Kentucky, creating a sweeping, eight-plate panorama.

On Sept. 24, 2018 a group of local photographers recreated the iconic image. Every detail including time of day, location, elevation, and focal length was meticulously researched and executed with the very best technology the world currently has to offer: Hasselblad provided their renowned cameras for the re-creation.

Take a 170-year journey through the parallel growth of Cincinnati and photographic technology to reflect on the amazing achievements of those who came before us, be reminded of how fantastical our world is now, and be inspired by what the future can hold. The original daguerreotype, the modern recreation, and examples of Cincinnati cityscape images through the years are on view, along with a digital representation of the original daguerreotype and new version combined, so viewers can dissolve one into another experiencing in detail the exact changes our city has experienced.

This exhibition is a part of the 2018 FotoFocus Biennial. Now in its fourth iteration, the Biennial spans over 90 projects at museums and galleries across Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, Columbus, and Dayton, Ohio; and features more than 250 artists, curators, and educators.

They Knew Not My Name, and I Knew Not Their Faces

Now is the Winter of Rest

See the people of Cincinnati through the lens of local photographer Michael Wilson in his exhibit, also part of the FotoFocus 2018 event, on display Sept. 7–Dec. 31 at the Main Library. Smaller satellite exhibits will also be on display at the branch libraries where those particular portraits were made: College Hill, Forest Park, Green Township, Greenhills, Groesbeck, Harrison, Mariemont, Norwood, Reading and Walnut Hills.

Wilson’s black-and-white portraits were made in a portable studio, eliminating reference to place and simplifying the visual elements of the picture to the subject’s face, clothing, and gesture. The portable studio was set up in neighborhoods across Cincinnati and Hamilton County, in most cases outside of various branches of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. Support for this FotoFocus Biennial 2018 exhibition was provided by Fotofocus.

A book accompanies the exhibition with supporting text by acclaimed writer R.J. Smith. There is an opening reception and artist talk 7–9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, at the Main Library, 800 Vine St. It is free and open to the public.

FotoFocus Bienneial Logo FotoFocus Black and White Logo FotoFocus Open Archive Logo

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.

See the Polar Bear from the Cincinnati Museum Center

Polar Bear

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 bear will remain at the Main Library until the end of 2018.

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