Ohio Art History

with an emphasis on representational art



This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "Ohio Art History." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to the articles and essays.

Following the links to Resource Library articles and essays are a listing of museums in the state which have provided materials to Resource Library for this or any other topic.

Listed after Resource Library articles, essays and museums are links to online resources outside the TFAO website. Following these resources is information about offline resources including DVDs, paper-printed books, journals and articles. Our goal is to present complete knowledge relating to this section of Topics in American Art.

We recommend that researchers always search within Resource Library for additional material. Please see TFAO's page How to research topics not listed for more information.

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Texts contained in Resource Library by named authors listed by author name in alphabetical order:

Drawn to Perfection: Jean and Paul Ulen and the Slade School Legacy in Cleveland by Christopher Bedford and Marianne Berardi

Ohio Impressionists and Post-Impressionists by James M. Keny

The Forest City Rises: Symbol and Value in Cleveland's First Pictures by David Steinberg

Fine Art in an Industrial Age by David Steinberg


Articles contained in Resource Library without named authors listed by article name in alphabetical order:

The Acquisitive Eye: Collecting Ohio Artists

Art in Chicago: Resisting Regionalism, Transforming Modernism

Brush with Light: Watercolor Painters of Northeast Ohio

A Brush With Light: Watercolor Painters of Northeast Ohio at Riffe Gallery

Cleveland Artists Foundation

In a Clear Light: The Triumph of Ohio Watercolor Painters, 1880 to 1967


Museums and other non-profit sources of Resource Library articles and essays:

Please click on the name of each source to view articles and essays related to that source:

Akron Art Museum

Allen Memorial Art Museum

Art Institute of Chicago

Butler Institute of American Art

Canton Museum of Art

Cincinnati Art Museum

Cleveland Artists Foundation

Cleveland Museum of Art (As of April, 2011 CAF says on its Web site that it plans to install there "...biographical information about artists of the Northeast Ohio region. The database includes all artists in the collection of CAF as well as other regional artists of Ohio.")

Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Columbus Museum of Art

Dayton Art Institute

Kennedy Museum of Art

Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago

Ohio Arts Council Riffe Gallery

Ohio Historical Society

Southern Ohio Museum

Taft Museum of Art

Toledo Museum of Art

Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University


Other online information:

Art Club (also known as the Old Bohemians and the City Hall Colony) in Cleveland from The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Accessed August, 2015.

Art Institute of Chicago website contains selected older catalogues linked to their exhibition history, including many relating to Chicago and vicinity artists. Accessed August, 2015.

Artists of Toledo is a website by Penny Gentieu featuring art groups and historic artists of Toledo, Ohio.

Authentic Narratives: Ohio's Regionalists, 1915-1950 is a 2015-16 exhibit at the Springfield Museum of Art which says: "Remarkable works by Ohio artists capturing Ohio's distinctive expression of Regionalism rooted in the state's more diverse blend of agriculture, industry, and cultures. The more than 75 works presented demonstrate a fertile "crossroads" of style, subjects and social commentary that belies Regionalism's more simplified grassroots connotation."  Also see 1/23/16 AEQAI article. Accessed 3/17

Brush & Palette Club from The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Accessed August, 2015.

Charles Burchfield: The Ohio Landscapes, 1915-1920 is a 2018 exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art which says: "Charles Burchfield: The Ohio Landscapes, 1915-1920 explores the key role that northeast Ohio played in the art and life of American artist Charles Burchfield."  Also see Charles Burchfield from Resource Library essay. Accessed 12/18

Charles E. Burchfield: The Ohio Years 1893-1921 is a 2017 exhibit at the Burchfield - Penney Art Center which says: "From the year of his birth in Ashtabula Harbor (now Ashtabula) until 1921, American watercolor painter Charles E. Burchfield lived mostly in his native state of Ohio. The majority of that time was spent in the city of Salem, living in a small house on East Fourth Street with his mother and five siblings." Accessed 1/18

Chicago Works: Amanda Williams is a 2017 exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago which says: "Williams, who was raised in Chicago's Auburn-Gresham neighborhood, transforms elements of architecture and design into immersive sculptures that draw attention to the ways context dramatically informs the value of material, and by extension, the value of cities."  Accessed 9/17

The Cincinnati Art Club was founded in 1890 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Its website says it has as its purpose "...advancing the knowledge and love of art through education. This mission has been and will continue to be promoted through exhibitions, lectures, hands-on demonstrations, sketch and painting group work sessions, monthly critique sessions, maintenance of an art library and awarding of student scholarships." Accessed April, 2016.

Cleveland Area History: Cleveland Artists in Zoar, Ohio from Christopher Busta-Peck. Accessed August, 2015.

Cleveland School refers to the local arts community of Northeast Ohio. This Wikipedia page contains a list of historic artists. Accessed August, 2015.

The Cleveland School - Watercolor and Clay by William Robinson, from Teaching Cleveland Institute Accessed August, 2015.

The Cleveland School: Watercolor and Clay, an exhibit held December 1, 2012 - March 10, 2013 at the Canton Museum of Art. Includes exhibition essay by William Robinson. Accessed August, 2015.

Cleveland Society of Artists from The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Accessed August, 2015.

Close to Home: Watercolors by William Sommer and Raphael Gleitsmann is a 2008 exhibit at the Akron Art Museum which says: "Two of Northeast Ohio's most important historic artists, William Sommer (1867-1949) and Raphael Gleitsmann (1910-1995) spent the 1930s and 1940s examining regional life. This exhibition explores how each artist, in his own way, depicted subjects that were characteristic of this part of the country. All the works on view are from the museum's collection, which contains major holdings by the two artists." Accessed 3/17

Cowan Pottery from Cowan Pottery Museum Associates. Accessed August, 2015.

Cowan Pottery School from The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Accessed August, 2015.

Earth into Art: The Flowering of American Art Pottery is a 2018 exhibit at the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art which says: "This exhibition explores the development and evolution of American Art Pottery in Cincinnati. Objects in the exhibition, all drawn from the Museum's extensive collection of American Art Pottery, represent the influence of McLaughlin, Nichols, and others as well as the styles, shapes, glazes, themes, techniques, and finishing methods that are central to the American Art Pottery story."  Accessed 11/18

Early Ohio Artists Marker from Historical Marker Database. Accessed August, 2015.

Extraordinary Gifts: Selected Cincinnati Paintings from the Proctor & Gamble Company from the Cincinnati Art Museum [Link from www.cincinnatiartmuseum.org found expired as of 3/1/12 audit. TFAO is saving the citation for your reference]

Greater Columbus:  2017 is a 2017 exhibit at the Columbus Museum of Art which says: "The artists in the exhibition include the recipients of the 2016 Visual Arts Fellowship Awards: Sue Cavanaugh, Paige Früchtnicht, Dani Leventhal (presenting work in collaboration with Sheilah Wilson), and Melissa Vogley Woods." Accessed 9/17

Historic Artists of Toledo from Artists of Toledo. Accessed January. 2015.

"Did Roseville's National Pottery Make Art Ware? The Unanswered Question" by James L. Murphy, Roseville Legend, Fall 2001: 6-7, from the Knowledge Bank, Ohio State University. Accessed August, 2015.

"Ford Ceramic Arts Columbus, Ohio" by James L. Murphy, The Journal of the American Art Pottery Association 14, no. 2 (1998): 12-14. from the Knowledge Bank, Ohio State University. Accessed August, 2015.

Fundamental Gestures: Figures from Life is a 2016 exhibit at ARTneo which says: "Fundamental Gestures looks at the figure drawings of some of Cleveland's most prominent artists and how each one captured the human form in their own ways." Also see catalog. Accessed 2/17 

Homegrown: Ohio Artists in the Collection is a 2004 exhibit at the Akron Art Museum which says: "This exhibition of works on paper, selected from the museum's rich collection of regional art, reveals how the landscape and inhabitants of America's heartland provide many artists with vital inspiration." Accessed 3/17

James R. Hopkins: Faces of the Heartland is a 2017 exhibit at the Columbus Museum of Art - Ohio which says: "Faces of the Heartland spans the career of James Hopkins (1877-1969) and highlights his innovative paintings depicting the Cumberland mountaineers of Appalachian Kentucky, called the Cumberland Suite, which were created between 1915 and 1919 and brought Hopkins national recognition."  Also see press release Accessed 1/18

Keith Mayerson: My American Dream is a 2017 exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland which says: "My American Dream will feature a series of new paintings made in relation to Cleveland, such as The Block (2016), which depicts the epic moment in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals when LeBron James leapt into the air to block a shot by Golden State Warriors forward, Andre Iguodala." Also see artist's website  Accessed 8/17

Kokoon Arts Club from The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Accessed August, 2015.

Looking for the American Dream: Andrew Borowiec's Ohio Photographs is a 2010 exhibit at the Akron Art Museum which says: "Andrew Borowiec has been photographing the social landscape of Middle America for more than two decades. This exhibition contrasts his traditional gelatin silver photography with his recent exploration of color photography and digital printing." Also see the artist's website. Accessed 3/17

Mural Art in Cleveland from The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Accessed August, 2015.

Ohio Appalachian Artist Directory is an online listing of artists that live and work in or near Ohio's Appalachian region, from Ohio Arts Council. Accessed May, 2015.

Ohio artists collected by Kevin Daniel. Accessed August, 2015.

Ohio (sampling of artists and works connected to state) from askArt. Accessed August, 2015.

Ohio's Artistic Tradition from The Turner Foundation. [Link found to be expired as of 2015 audit. TFAO is saving the citation for use by researchers.]

Ohio History Central includes biographies of artists in its Arts and Entertainment section. Accessed August, 2015.

Authentic Narratives: Ohio Regionalists (1915-1950), an exhibit held September 12, 2015 - January 17, 2016 at the Springfield Museum of Art. Includes article by Timothy Keny and Michael D. Hall. From Keny Galleries. Accessed February, 2016.

Ohio Statehouse from Wikipedia. Accessed August, 2015.

Arti Research from Ohio Historical Society. Accessed August, 2015.

Print Club of Cleveland from The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Accessed August, 2015.

Rookwood Pottery Company from Wikipedia. Accessed August, 2015.

Wandering Palette: Watercolors from the ARTneo Collection is a 2017 exhibit at ARTneo which says: "In the early twentieth century, Northeast Ohio became home to one of the most accomplished schools of watercolor painting in American art and helped to create a regional artistic identity. Watercolor embodied an important American value: freedom." Accessed 2/17

"Zanesville Stoneware Company Closes After 115 Years" by James L. Murphy, Journal of the American Art Pottery Association 18, no. 6 (2002): 12-16, from the Knowledge Bank, Ohio State University. Accessed August, 2015.


TFAO's Distinguished Artists catalogue provides online access to biographical information for artists associated with this state. Also, Search Resource Library for online articles and essays concerning both individual artists associated with this state's history and the history of art centers and museums in this state. Resource Library articles and essays devoted to individual artists and institutions are not listed on this page.


Books, listed by year of publication, with most recently published book listed first:

The Cincinnati Wing: The Story of Art in the Queen City, By Julie Aronson, Anita J. Ellis, Jennifer Howe. Published by Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio University Press, 2003. Original from the University of Michigan. Digitized Nov 8, 2007. ISBN 0821414887, 9780821414880. 227 pages. Google Books says: "This lavishly illustrated volume showcases the rich cultural history of Cincinnati, one of America's foremost art centers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries"

Extraordinary Gifts: Selected Cincinnati Paintings from the Procter & Gamble Company, Published by Cincinnati Art Museum, 2003, 15 pages.

Regionalism and Reform: Art and Class Formation in Antebellum Cincinnati, by Wendy Jean Katz. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2002.

Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900: A Biographical Dictionary, by Mary Sayre Haverstock, Jeannette Mahoney Vance, Brian L. Meggitt, Jeffrey Weidman, Oberlin College Library. Compiled by Mary Sayre Haverstock. Contributor Mary Sayre Haverstock, Jeannette Mahoney Vance, Jeffrey Weidman. Published by Kent State University Press, 2000. ISBN 0873386167, 9780873386166. 1066 pages

Yet Still We Rise: African American Art in Cleveland 1920-1970, by by Alfred L. Bright, Samuel W. Black, Pamela McKee. catalogue and exhibition. Cleveland: Cleveland Artists Foundation, 1996.

Cowan Pottery and the Cleveland School, by Bassett, Mark and Victoria Naumann. Atglen, PA. Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 1996.

Transformations in Cleveland Art 1796-1946, by Robinson, William H. and David Steinberg. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, 1996

Cleveland as a Center of Regional American Art: Symposium Presented by the Cleveland Artists Foundation at the Cleveland Museum of Art, November 13 and 14, 1993. Cleveland: The Foundation, 1994.

Fine Arts in Cleveland: An Illustrated History, By Witchey, Holly Rarick with John Vacha.. Indiana University Press: Bloomington, IN, 1994.

Triumph of Color and Light: Ohio Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, By James M. Keny, Columbus: Columbus Museum of Art and Keny Galleries, 1994.

Ohio Pioneer Artists: A Pictorial Review. By Jane Sikes Hageman,.Cincinnati: Ohio Furniture Makers, 1993.

Chicago Works: Art from the Windy City, By Joyce Fernandes, Erie Art Museum. Published 1989 by Erie Art Museum. Art, American. 52 pages. ISBN:096166231X

Panorama of Cincinnati Art, 1850-1950, By Cincinnati Art Galleries, Published by Cincinnati Art Galleries, 1986. 36 pages

A Clevelander Collects Clevelanders: An Exhibit from the Collection of Joseph and Elsie Erdelac, By Joseph M Erdelac, Elsie Erdelac, Kenneth C. Beck Center for the Cultural Arts. Published by Kenneth C. Beck Center for the Cultural Arts, 1984

Print-A-Month, Cleveland Printmakers, 1932-26, April 16-May 21, 1982, by Campbell, Margaret Mary. John Carroll University, 1982

Celebrate Cincinnati Art: In Honor of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Cincinnati Art Museum, 1881-1981, By Kenneth R. Trapp, Cincinnati Art Museum, Published by Cincinnati Art Museum, 1982. 89 pages

Images of Historical Cincinnati, By Gale E Peterson, Laura L Chace, Daniel Hurley, Ohio First National Bank Center (Cincinnati). Published by First National Bank Center, 1981. Google Books says: "Compiled by Gale E. Peterson, director, Laura L. Chace, librarian, Daniel Hurley, education coordinator"--P. [4].

Outdoor Sculpture in Ohio, By Richard N. Campen. Published by West Summit Press, 1980. Original from the University of Michigan. Digitized Nov 13, 2007. ISBN 0960135626, 9780960135622. 175 pages

A Survey of Public Monuments in Cleveland, By Helen B. Lybarger. Published by Early Settlers Association of Cleveland and the Western Reserve, 1980. 16 pages

The Golden Age: Cincinnati Painters of the Nineteenth Century Represented in the Cincinnati Art Museum, By Cincinnati Art Museum. Published by Cincinnati Art Museum, 1979. 221 pages. Google Books says: "Catalogue of an exhibition held Oct. 6, 1979-Jan. 13, 1980."

The Ladies, God Bless 'em: The Women's Art Movement in Cincinnati in the Nineteenth Century - Cincinnati Art Museum, February 19-April 18, 1976 [exhibition], By Cincinnati Art Museum, Carol Macht, Deborah D. Long, Kenneth R. Trapp. Published by Cincinnati Art Museum, 1976. 69 pages

"New Deal Art in Cleveland" Federal Art in Cleveland, by Marling, Karal Ann. Cleveland: Cleveland Public Library. 1974.

A Study of the Cosmopolitan Art Association, 1954-1861, By Doris Preis Rubinow. Published by D.P. Rubinow, 1962

Painters in Ohio, 1788-1860: With a Biographical Index ..., By Donald Ralph MacKenzie. Published by Ohio State University, 1961. 560 pages

Painters in Ohio, 1788-1860, with a biographical index. By Donald Ralph MacKenzie. PhD dissertation, Ohio State University, 1960.

Cincinnati in Bronze, By George P. Stimson, William R. Randall. Illustrated by William R. Randall. Published by W.R. Randall, 1959. 30 pages

Ohio Women: Their Portraits and Paintings, By Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, Ohio State Museum, Ohio State Museum, Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society. Published by Ohio State Museum, 1956. 19 pages

Ohio Subjects and Ohio Artists: 18th and 19th Century Painting - an Exhibit Presented at the Ohio State Museum, February 8-June 1, 1953, By Ohio State Museum, Ohio State Museum. Published by Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society in association with the Ohio Sesquicentennial Commission, 1953. 23 pages

Oil Paintings by Cleveland Artists, by Arnot Art Museum - Painting, American - 1943. Catalog of an exhibition held Mar., 1943.

Ohio Painters of the Past, by Butler Institute of American Art, Butler Institute of American Art - Painting, American - 1942. Catalog of an exhibition held Mar. 20-Apr. 12, 1942.

Traveling Exhibition of Water Colors by Cleveland Artists, by Arnot Art Museum - Watercolor painting, American - 1932. Catalog of an exhibition held May, 1932.

Ohio Art and Artists, by Edna Maria Clark. Publisher: Garrett & Massie (1932).

Capitol Guide Catalogue of the Paintings and Portraits of the Governors of Ohio in the Ohio State Capitol, By Emma J. Hollingsworth, Ohio State Library, Ohio State Library. Published by The F. J. Heer printing company, 1910. 105 pages. Google Books says: "Contains also portraits and sketches of other prominent men of Ohio."

A Sketch of the Women's Art Museum Association of Cincinnati, L877-1886, By Women's Art Museum Association of Cincinnati, Elizabeth Williams Perry, Women's Art Museum Association of Cincinnati. Published by R. Clarke, 1886. Original from the University of California. Digitized Dec 4, 2007. 134 pages. Google Books offers a Full View of this book.



Marianne Berardi & Christopher Bedford: "The Politics of Power in in Cleveland's Art World" American Art Review March-April 2004 (Volume XVI, Number 2)

Marianne Berardi: "The Union Club of Cleveland" American Art Review September-October 2005 (Volume XVII, Number 5)

Barbara Novak & Louis Zona: "A Portrait of America: The Nation & Ohio" American Art Review January-February 2007 (Volume XIX, Number 1)

William H. Robinson: "Watercolor Painters of Northeast Ohio" American Art Review March-April 1999 (Volume XI, Number 2)

William H. Robinson: "The Triumph of Ohio Watercolor Painters" American Art Review May-June 2003 (Volume XV, Number 3)

Randi E. Sherman: "New Deal Sculpture and Ceramics in Cleveland, 1933-1943" American Art Review July-August 1975 (Volume II, Number 4)

Gregory Thorp: "Cincinnati Union Terminal's Mosaic Panorama" American Art Review August 1977 (Volume IV, Number 2)

Kathryn A. Wat: "American Paintings from the Akron Art Museum" American Art Review September-October 2004 (Volume XVI, Number 5)


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