Credit: Frank Duveneck (1848–1919), United States, Water Carriers, Venice, 1884, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Bequest of Reverend F. Ward Denys, 1943.11.1

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Art Museum will present a major re-evaluation of the work of Frank Duveneck, the most influential painter in Cincinnati history, from Dec. 18, 2020 to March 28, 2021.

Through his brilliant and inspiring work as a painter and printmaker and as a charismatic teacher, Duveneck’s impact on the international art world of his time was substantial and enduring. More than 90 examples across media from the holdings of the museum, the leading repository of the Kentucky native’s work, and 35 pieces on loan from collections across the United States, will provide a fresh, in-depth look at this important artist.

Credit: Frank Duveneck (1848–1919), United States, He Lives by His Wits, 1878, oil on canvas, Collection of Gates Thornton Richards and Margaret Kyte Richards

Once Cincinnati’s most celebrated artist, Duveneck was born in Covington, to Westphalian immigrants in 1848. He studied in Munich, Germany, where he became an influential teacher, and spent nearly two decades in Europe. His work reflected the impact not only of modern German art, as is widely acknowledged, but also French and Italian work. His paintings’ lack of finish and assertive brushwork parallel Impressionism, and his work as a printmaker positioned him centrally in the period’s etching revival.

Dr. Julie Aronson, curator of American Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings at the Cincinnati Art Museum since 1999, has been working on the exhibition for several years. 

“We are excited to celebrate Frank Duveneck with this exhibition that illuminates one of the unique strengths of the Cincinnati Art Museum’s collection: its deep concentration in the works of one of the towering figures of American art of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries,” Aronson said. “Side by side with our stunning Duveneck masterworks are key paintings on loan from across the country, presenting a fresh approach to the compelling story of one of our regional heroes. Duveneck’s bravura painting shines in this exhibition as never before!”

Tickets for the exhibition are free for members and will soon be available for purchase by the general public at the Cincinnati Art Museum front desk and online at cincinnatiartmuseum.org