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Taft Museum of Art announces $10.7 million capital campaign
Taft Museum of Art exterior.

CINCINNATI, OH.- The Taft Museum of Art’s Love This House Campaign will raise the critical funding needed to ensure the future stability of the Taft’s 200-year-old historic house as part of the Museum’s Bicentennial Infrastructure Project. The Museum is seeking to raise $10.7 million by Spring 2022 and secure a 4:1 matching grant for $750,000 through the National Endowment for the Humanities.

In advance of the Museum’s celebration of the historic house’s bicentennial in 2020, the Taft embarked on an extensive review of the Museum’s operational and infrastructure needs in late 2015. Over the course of 36 months, key collaborators worked to create a master plan for the Museum campus to understand the needs of the collection and the visitors, complete a thorough analysis of the scope of capital projects needed to maintain the house for the next century, and identify and develop solutions for the 200-year-old home. As a result, the Taft’s Love This House Campaign has been launched to raise the critical funding needed to ensure the future stability of the house. The important work will begin in late 2020 and is expected to continue through February 2022 as part of the Taft’s Bicentennial Infrastructure Project in partnership with GBBN, HGC Construction, and Beth Sullebarger & Associates.

Originally planned to begin in Fall 2020, the infrastructure project was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Any further delays,” says Louise Taft Semple President/CEO, Deborah Emont Scott, “could put the house in jeopardy. To ensure future generations can love this house too, we have to act now.”

The Love This House Campaign is chaired by the Taft’s Board of Directors vice-chair, Jill T. McGruder, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Western & Southern Financial Group. The campaign has already raised over half of its campaign total through support from its board of directors. Nationally, the Taft has been awarded grants to support the campaign which includes the competitive Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in the maximum amount of $750,000; to secure this grant, the Taft must raise at least $3 million from new public funds. The Taft also recently received a prestigious grant from the National Park Service (as part of the Save America’s Treasures) in the maximum amount of $500,000.

As part of the rehabilitation, approximately 80 highlights from the Taft’s permanent collection will be moved from the historic house to the Fifth Third Gallery for a third bicentennial exhibition in Summer 2021, In A New Light: Treasures from the Taft. At this time, the historic house will become inaccessible, but its treasured works will continue to be on view and re-interpreted for the first time in over 15 years for the home’s 200th birthday. A newly published book, Highlights from the Taft Collection, showcases the same 80 works and is available on-site and online for advance purchase.

Throughout the rehabilitation project, Museum amenities will continue to be open to the public (following COVID-19 health and safety protocols) including the Lindner Family Café and Museum Shop. During the rehabilitation period, the Museum will include free admission with an option to “pay-what-you-wish” for all guests.

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