March 2016

Main Library · Exhibits

Permanent Exhibits

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.

Amelia Valerio Weinberg Memorial Fountain

Image of Amelia Valerio Weinberg Memorial FountainAmelia Valerio Weinberg Memorial Fountain

The Amelia Valerio Weinberg Memorial Fountain is located on the Vine Street Plaza in front of the Main Library. Conceived and executed by former Cincinnati sculptor Michael Frasca, this ornamental fountain was made possible by a bequest from Mrs. Weinberg and was dedicated in 1990. Affectionately known as the “book fountain,” the sculpture features water cascading over a stack of ceramic tile books, representing the free flow of information and ideas through the printed word. The fountain is a popular spot for school groups and tourists.

Historic Stained Glass Windows

When the original Main Library opened to the public in 1874, three beautiful, intricate stained glass windows graced one of the reading rooms in the building. The windows were designed and manufactured by Riordan Art Glass in Cincinnati, now BeauVerre Riordan Studios.

Stained glass windowStained glass window

In 1955, when the building was demolished, the windows were sold at auction, later to resurface as part of the décor of the Old Spaghetti Factory on Pete Rose Way. After the restaurant closed in 1997, the Library purchased the windows and began making plans to return them to the Main Library for the appreciation and enjoyment of our customers and staff.

Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Public Library and the Annabel Fey Trust Fund, the three windows have now been restored to their original glory by River City Art Glass and Restoration, Inc. and placed on permanent display on each floor of the Main Library. The restoration and display of these historic stained glass windows are dedicated in honor of Robert D. Stonestreet for his 31 years of service to the Library, including as Library Director from 1991–1998.

Louise Nevelson Sculpture

modern art sculpture“Sky Landscape II”

The 8th & Walnut Street entrance to the Main Library is flanked by “Sky Landscape II,” a major public sculpture by world-renowned artist Louise Nevelson (1899–1988). The 3,800-pound, 20-foot tall painted steel sculpture was relocated to the library on January 8, 1993. It had been given to the City of Cincinnati by Federated Department Stores (now known as Macy’s), who had commissioned the piece in 1980 for the entrance to their 7 West Seventh Street headquarters.

Honoring Our Veterans

The Veterans’ Memorial display case, located in the Atrium of the Main Library, recognizes the sacrifice and contribution of local veterans and showcases our collection of veterans’ memorabilia.

Temporary Exhibits

Design LAB Exhibition 2016

Design LAB Exhibition

In partnership with the Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati, the Library presents the Design LAB exhibit (former Architecture by Children exhibit), the final piece of an in-classroom design education program tailored to broaden and deepen student awareness, appreciation, and active participation in our built environment. Local professionals teamed up with educators to guide students through a real-world, themed design problem, emphasizing the development of: research and observation, critical-thinking, problem solving, verbal and visual communication, creative expression and presentation skills. This year’s project theme, ‘Learning Spaces’, challenged students to interview, research, program, design and build models of their ideal learning spaces. Selected projects for students in Kindergarten through grade 5 will be on display in the Atrium of the Main Library from May 1–7, and projects for students in grades 6–12 will be displayed near the MakerSpace in the Main Library during that same time period.


Taft Museum’s Artists Reaching Classrooms Exhibition

Artists Reaching Classrooms Exhibition

The exhibit showcases art, including painting, photography, digital design and ceramics created by students from 12 area high schools. Each work is accompanied by an artist’s statement, providing an explanation of the student’s process and intent. ARC is a program offered by the Taft Museum of Art which immerses high school art students in Cincinnati’s visual arts community and exposes them to art careers and professionals. The schools represented are: Archbishop McNicholas High School, Aiken New Tech, Dater High School, DePaul Cristo Rey High School, Hamilton High School, Milford High School, Riverview East Academy, Roger Bacon High School, School for Creative and Performing Arts, Sycamore High School, Taylor High School and Winton Woods High School. The exhibit will be on display in the Main Library Atrium through May 17.


Star Trek 50th Anniversary Exhibit

Star Trek Exhibit

Star Trek first aired on September 8, 1966, on the NBC network, making 2016 the franchise’s 50th anniversary. Gene Roddenberry’s creation has made its mark on modern technology and pop culture. His original creation has since spawned thirteen movies, the newest one coming out this July, as well as numerous television series, novels, games, toys, and comic book series. This exhibit was culled from four local Trek fans personal collections and highlight their most memorable, favorite, and sometimes quirkiest pieces of Star Trek ephemera. The exhibit can be viewed in the Main Library Popular Library (1st floor) and Information and Reference Departments (3rd floor) until May 23.


As You Like Him William Shakespeare Exhibit

William Shakespeare

For four centuries William Shakespeare’s works have been read, studied, performed, adapted and reinterpreted. From Romeo & Juliet to West Side Story, Hamlet to the Lion King, Shakespeare has permeated our culture with his masterful storytelling. View selections from the Library’s extensive collection of the Bard’s classic plays in the Joseph S. Stern, Jr. Cincinnati Room on the third floor of the Main Library from April 29–July 29. Included in the exhibit are rare early editions of Shakespeare’s works dating back to the 1600s, tiny 19th century adaptations for children and elaborate illustrations to compliment his tales.

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