Woody Internship – Taft Museum of Art – Blog 7

Today, we’re taking a break from research. (Am I allowed to do that? Let’s find out.) This week, I’m going to talk about how to make the most of Cincinnati.

I’ll be honest: when this opportunity first appeared on my radar during spring semester, I was skeptical. I hadn’t figured “moving to the Midwest” into my plan for my sophomore summer. Regardless, the internship opportunity was too good to pass up, and I ended up in a city I knew nothing about in a state I’d never visited. As it turns out, Cincinnati has been a series of surprises. As I come to the end of my ten weeks in Cincinnati, I’ve developed a deep appreciation for the city, its culture, and its surrounding area. I’ve spent almost every weekend exploring what there is to find here, so here’s my report on the fun things I’ve gotten up to outside of work.

In the Cincinnati Art Museum's Cincinnati wing, you can find this bust of Nicholas Longworth, the second owner of the Baum-Taft House. The bust is by Hiram Powers; Longworth was Powers' first patron, kickstarting the sculptor's illustrious career. Powers is best known for his sculpture The Greek Slave.

In the Cincinnati Art Museum’s Cincinnati wing, you can find this bust of Nicholas Longworth, the second owner of the Baum-Taft House. The bust is by Hiram Powers; Longworth was Powers’ first patron, kickstarting the sculptor’s illustrious career. Powers is best known for his sculpture The Greek Slave.

First and foremost: the museums. Cincinnati has a lot of museums. That ranges from smaller institutions such as the Taft (not to brag, but we are Cincy’s hidden gem) and the Contemporary Arts Center to larger sites such as the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Cincinnati Museum Center. CAC, CAM, and CMC — I’m all about the acronyms — offer interesting permanent collections and touring exhibitions for all interests. I’ve seen exhibits on a wide spectrum of topics at these sites: CMC is hosting the American debut of the exhibit Egypt: The Time of the Pharaohs, and CAM currently has the Renwick Gallery’s excellent touring show No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man. Access to such diverse sites and collections has enriched my museum studies experience by allowing me to compare, contrast, and critique a variety of institutions. 

The Art Deco marvel that is the Cincinnati Museum Center. The CMC, which contains several museums and exhibition spaces, is housed in the former Union Terminal station.

The Art Deco marvel that is the Cincinnati Museum Center. The CMC, which contains several museums and exhibition spaces, is housed in the former Union Terminal station.

For folks who like quirkier collections, Cincinnati has those too: Atlas Obscura told me about the American Sign Museum, which is definitely worth a trip, and the Lucky Cat Museum, which I haven’t yet visited. Additionally, a half-hour drive from Cincinnati is the Cardboard Boat Museum in New Richmond, Ohio. The Cardboard Boat Museum is the home of the International Cardboard Boat Regatta, held annually in the summer on the Ohio River. I went to the regatta last weekend with some of my coworkers, and it was entertaining to say the least.

Conveniently, Cincinnati is also near a number of other interesting cities and towns. Though I haven’t explored the region as much as I’d like, I did make the trip up to Chicago to check out the city with my family, and I spent last Sunday in Kentucky’s capital of Frankfurt visiting family friends. This coming weekend, I’ll be going to Railbird Music Festival in Lexington, Kentucky, where I’ll finally check The Raconteurs off my list of bands I’m dying to see.

"Cloud Gate," colloquially known as "The Bean," in Chicago's Millennium Park. Chicago is a 4.5-hour drive (or an hour-long flight) from Cincinnati.

“Cloud Gate,” colloquially known as “The Bean,” in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Chicago is a 4.5-hour drive (or an hour-long flight) from Cincinnati.

Outside of its museums and its proximity to other cities, Cincinnati has plenty else to offer. Over-the-Rhine and Clifton are both interesting neighborhoods well worth a day of wandering (and visiting its many bars and restaurants). Clifton Heights has an excellent assortment of world cuisine near the University of Cincinnati’s campus — dinner at Krishna is a must. The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber also runs the CINC (Cincinnati Intern Network Connection) series, offering interns and co-op students the opportunity to experience uniquely Cincinnati events such as an evening at the zoo, an FC Cincinnati game, and a riverboat cruise. 

Dusk at Nippert Stadium, the temporary home of FC Cincinnati. I went to an FC Cincinnnati-DC United game with the Cincinnati Intern Network Connection (CINC), an organization I have access to as a Taft intern.

Dusk at Nippert Stadium, the temporary home of FC Cincinnati. I went to an FC Cincinnnati-DC United game with the Cincinnati Intern Network Connection (CINC), an organization I have access to as a Taft intern.

Did I know what to expect when I accepted an internship in Cincinnati back in April? Not at all. Did I think I’d sound like a travel ambassador for Cincinnati by the end of the summer? Definitely not. Have I enjoyed my time here? Yes. Here’s the long and short of it: future Woody interns at the Taft, you have a lot to look forward to. Everyone else, Cincy is worth your time. 

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