Past Exhibits

Catharina van Hemessen, Scourging of Christ, Oil on Wood Panel, 1556, private collection

Rediscovering Catharina van Hemessen’s Scourging of Christ: Women Artists, Patrons, and Rulers in Renaissance Europe

Dates: Mar. 7 - Apr. 30, 2024

University of Cincinnati
DAAP Library Teaching Gallery

This exhibition focuses on the Netherlandish painter Catharina van Hemessen’s Scourging of Christ, a jewel-like devotional work signed by the most famous woman artist of the Northern Renaissance. Rarely on public display, this dynamic yet little-known narrative panel reveals Catharina’s originality, refined color palette, and adept rendering of the human form. The painting, recently redated to 1556 through technical examination, unites the exhibition’s three themes—female artists, female patrons and collectors, and female rulers in Renaissance Europe (ca. 1400-1600). Indeed, the Scourging of Christ is the only signed work by Catharina van Hemessen that could have been executed for her patron Mary of Hungary, Regent of the Netherlands, who in 1556 invited the painter to the Habsburg court in Spain.
For more information.

Illuminated manuscript

European Art in a Global Perspective: Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts & Early Modern Prints from UC Collections

Dates: Nov. 1 - Dec. 13, 2023

University of Cincinnati
DAAP Library Teaching Gallery

Featuring intricately designed prints and lavishly illuminated manuscripts, this exhibition explores late medieval and early modern European art in a global perspective. It focuses on the visual and material traces of social and political connections between Europe and Africa, Asia, and the Americas from the 15th to 17th centuries. During this era of unprecedented cross-cultural exchange, ideas, artworks, and artists themselves circulated widely through trade, diplomacy, pilgrimage, and immigration. Simultaneously, religious conflict and colonization across the Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea, and Indian Ocean affected cultures and peoples as never before.

The twenty artworks on display include woodcuts, engravings, etchings, and illuminated manuscript leaves and scrolls from the UC Art Collection and DAAP Library Special Collections. They illustrate four themes: European Representations of Asia, Africa, and the AmericasAfrican and Asian Illustrated ManuscriptsTraveling Artworks and Ideas; and Exotic and Precious Materials in Medieval Illumination and Printmaking. These objects offer diverse perspectives on some of the most significant social, religious, and political entanglements of the later Middle Ages and early modern era, helping us embrace a more expansive and more nuanced view of the rapidly globalizing world.
Curators: Christopher Platts, Aaron Cowan, and Elizabeth Meyer

Christopher Platts Gallery Talk from December 7, 2023.

View the prints included in the exhibit.

Emil Robinson exhibit

Irises by Emil Robinson and Etchings by Nick Mancini

Summer 2023

University of Cincinnati
DAAP Library Teaching Gallery

Mancini's deep blue ethchings internalized the experience of stepping into a garden, while Robinson paintings of irises are brief intense relationshops with single flowers. Robinson designed the table/lectern to invite close reading, while Mancini's prints are hug a different heights to invite the viewer to lean down and see more clearly what is at their feet. The exhibition is without title, and the poem the Moths by Mary Oliver is included next to the infromation for the works.  

Exhibit outside DAAP Library: Renaissance and Baroque Painting at the University of Cincinnati

Renaissance & Baroque Paintings at the University of Cincinnati: Teaching Art History and the Technical Study of Art with Original Works and Forgeries

Dates: Oct. 25 - Dec. 7, 2022

University of Cincinnati
DAAP Library Teaching Gallery

At its core, early modern art history is the study of objects. Having actual artworks close at hand, such as the paintings on display here, offers an essential corrective to viewing reproductions on a flat screen or in a book. Direct engagement enables fresh observations about the style, materials and techniques, original use, and layered meanings of any given object. It also helps us to have an embodied experience of the artwork, comprehending its size, tactility, and three-dimensionality in relation to our own bodies and the physical space we inhabit. We can more easily envision ourselves as the work’s creator, commissioner, or original viewer, considering in each case the attendant social and historical circumstances. To enhance the learning experience of students in autumn 2022 art history courses on Italian Renaissance and European Baroque art, the University of Cincinnati (UC) Art Collection has brought to light five paintings representing different historical periods and functions, from a large Gothic altarpiece for a church setting to an intimate Renaissance self-portrait to a Baroque devotional work for domestic display.

Students this semester are using these paintings to develop their skills in connoisseurship, iconographic analysis, and art-historical methods related to the patronage and reception of artworks from the early modern period. In addition, with UC science professors, they are studying the Geology Department’s mineral collection to understand how Renaissance pigments were made from pulverizing semi-precious stones, and examining the paintings on display here with specialized instruments that reveal the chemical make-up of the artists’ centuries-old colors. Methods of technical analysis such as X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and Raman spectroscopy can determine which pigments the artists used and provide insight into the status of an artwork: whether it is original to the early modern period, a forgery made with the intent to deceive, or a modern copy executed with honest motives. The installation includes examples of each type of work.

This installation was curated by Christopher Platts, Assistant Professor of Art History, and Aaron Cowan, Director of the UC Art Collection, Galleries, and Museum Studies Program. It was made possible by Elizabeth Meyer, Head of DAAP Library; Sofia Brown Scanio, Collections Assistant in the UC Art Collection; and Andrea Chemero, Visiting Librarian at DAAP Library. The professors and scientists collaborating on the technical study of these works include Craig Dietsch and Daniel Sturmer in Geology and Pietro Strobbia and Lyndsay Kissell in Chemistry. The curators also thank Holly Prochaska, Head of UC Preservation Services.

Madonna and Child with Saints, Unknown Artist, 14th century or later
Install of Madonna and Child with Saints, Unknown Artist, 14th century or later

Woodie Garber exhibit postcard

Collecting Space and Form: Ideas of the Modern from the DAAP Library

Dates: Sept. 4 - Dec. 13, 2019

University of Cincinnati Clermont
Park National Bank Art Gallery


In the mid-20th-century, Cincinnati architects created buildings and planning that is of local, national, and international importance. Cincinnati played a significant but largely unrecognized role in the introduction of International Style Modernist architecture to the United States. Cincinnati’s Modernist architecture forms a highly progressive legacy in a city that is frequently and mistakenly viewed as predominantly conservative.

The Robert A. Deshon and Karl J. Schlachter Library for Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning (DAAP), at the University of Cincinnati’s main campus, has been collecting and archiving drawings, photographs, and other materials related to Cincinnati Modernist architecture since 2008. This exhibit focuses upon Cincinnati Modernist architect Woodie Garber, who had an important though sometimes tense relationship with the University. In the late 1960s-1970s, Garber did a master plan and designed several buildings for UC. Two of his buildings were built: the Sander Hall dormitory complex and Procter Hall for the College of Nursing and Health. Sander Hall dormitory was demolished (though its adjacent cafeteria building survives, repurposed for new uses) and Procter Hall has been re-clad and remodeled. Garber also interacted with UC by employing many DAAP architecture students as cooperative education (co-op) interns in his office and hiring some after their graduation. Garber’s Modernist legacy, both at the UC and in the larger Cincinnati area, is worth exploring.

Find for additional topics related to Cincinnati Modernist architecture.

Further emphasizing the breadth of collecting at UC are artists’ books from the DAAP Library focusing on the link between art and language. The abstract nature of language is emphasized by the variety of ways in which artists, architects and designers have used the format of the book to challenge the relationship of space, text, and image. The focus on books which directly engage the topics of language and book-making range from architects’ sketchbooks, which translate space through two-dimensional line and text, to encyclopedic formats, to the structural challenges of the origami-inspired artists’ books.

This selection of modern works from the vast collection links the ideas of space and form, from the archival aspects of architecture, to the collecting of the three-dimensional as it meets in the two-dimensional, in artists’ books.

Curated by Patrick Snadon, professor emeritus, design & architectural historian; Elizabeth Meyer, DAAP librarian; and Carla Cesare, assistant professor of art history.

Thanks to Elizabeth Garber and Michael Dingledine for donating Woodie Garber’s surviving office papers and project photographs to the DAAP Library.

Special thanks to Shari Khosravani for her talent and help in the design of this exhibit.