March 2020


The Library supports its mission of connecting people with the world of ideas and information by developing exhibits and by providing exhibit space to external organizations at the Main Library.

Temporary Exhibits

Cincinnati Public Schools: City-Wide Art Exhibition

Cincinnati Public Schools: City-Wide Art Exhibition image

The City-Wide Art Exhibition has a long tradition dating back to the early 1970’s when it began at the Cincinnati Gas and Electric Company. Now displayed at the Main Library, each Cincinnati Public School art teacher is encouraged to submit four exemplary artworks created by their students during the present school year.

The exhibition represents four grade level groups, K-3, 4-6, 7-9,10-12. Each artwork submitted is entered into a media category. There are eight media categories including drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, crafts and graphic design.

The student’s work is judged by artists, art educators and other professionals related to the field of art. The work is judged for its originality, unique presentation or use of materials and the skill demonstrated in creating the artwork.

Each student receives a certificate and blue ribbon for having their work chosen to hang in the display. Special awards are presented to gold seal winners and best of show winners in each age division. These awards are presented at an evening ceremony at the Board of Education in May. The exhibit will be on view in the Main Library Bridge through April 5.

Genius of Liberty: The Long Struggle for Women’s Equality

Genius of Liberty exhibit image

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution stating the right of citizens to vote "shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." But did you know an actress-singer and a psychic, both from Cincinnati, were two very important women in the Suffrage Movement? It’s fun and informative facts such as these that are featured in the exhibit Genius of Liberty: The Long Struggle for Women’s Equality on display Jan. 31-April 26 in the Joseph S. Stern, Jr. Cincinnati Room at the Downtown Main Library. The exhibit spans events from the first women’s rights Convention in 1848 at Seneca Falls, N.Y., to 72 years later with the adoption of the 19th Amendment in August of 1920 that guaranteed women their right to vote.


Image from Unbound exhibit

In partnership with the Volunteers of America Ohio & Indiana and the Hamilton County Office of Reentry, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is presenting the month-long exhibit Unbound, featuring the creative writings and visual art of people who have experienced incarceration and are in various stages of returning to our communities. Unbound seeks to personalize the experiences of returning citizens, discuss the obstacles they face, and share the assistance they receive from various local organizations. The creative works are on display Sept. 28–Oct. 31 in the Atrium of the Main Library.

Felicity Tao, chair of the Greater Cincinnati Chinese Cultural Exchange Association discusses how bringing the 'Chinese Railroad Workers Photography Exhibits' to Cincinnati is part of her journey to claim American citizenship on our blog.

Real Art for Young Artists: The Art of Rosemary Wells

Noisy Nora Watercolor

Acclaimed children’s book author and illustrator Rosemary Wells wants to give children the chance to experience original art. Through her Real Art for Young Artists initiative, Wells is allowing the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County to exhibit the original watercolor art from her classic book Noisy Nora with a long-term loan. The exhibit Real Art for Young Artists: The Art of Rosemary Wells is on display in the Children’s Library at the Downtown Main Library

Permanent Exhibits

The Library’s four double-elephant portfolio volumes of Birds of America is temporarily on loan to the Cincinnati Museum Center through early 2020 as part of their “In the Audubon Tradition” exhibit.

John James Audubon Exhibit

Birds of AmericaBirds of America

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is fortunate to own one of the few intact copies of John James Audubon’s Birds of America. New cases to house the set were unveiled on Nov. 16, 2015 in the Joseph S. Stern, Jr. Cincinnati Room at the Main Library.

The four-volume folio set is part of a permanent exhibit that also features a new computer touch screen allowing visitors to digitally flip through the books and zoom in on the artwork.

Learn more about this priceless treasure in the Library's collection.

Cincinnati Panorama of 1848

Charles Fontayne and William S. Porter’ Cincinnati Panorama of 1848, the oldest wide view photograph of an American city, returns to permanent display after more than half a century out of the public eye.

Image of Cincinnati Panorama of 1848Cincinnati Panorama of 1848

Located in the Joseph S. Stern, Jr. Cincinnati Room, this award-winning masterpiece is revered worldwide as one of the finest examples of daguerreian photography. Displayed in its original mat and mid 19th century frame, it is protected from deterioration with an interior housing of argon gas and filtered lights. Two interactive displays, one adjacent to the original and a second in the Main Library’s Atrium, allow the viewer to experience Cincinnati’s bustling riverfront through high definition images on touch screens. Navigate and zoom in for a glimpse of life along the riverfront in 1848. Points of Interest in the digital displays provide further exploration through portraits, newspapers, advertisements, documents, and maps from the time period.

For additional information about any of the exhibits listed, please call our Programs & Exhibits Office at 513-369-6900.