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“Too much technique, not enough art.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Contemporary Arts Center

Contemporary Arts Center
44 E Sixth St, Cincinnati, OH 45202 (Central Business District)
513-345-8400
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Ranked #43 of 189 things to do in Cincinnati
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Owner description: Reputed for its thought-provoking and innovative paintings, photography and other arts, this center, founded in 1939, is in a new six-story building that is a work of art itself, with fascinating features both inside and out.
Cincinnati
Top Contributor
107 reviews 107 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“Too much technique, not enough art.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2012

Over the thirty plus years, I have been visiting the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, I have appreciated many excellent exhibits and events. Somewhere along the way, the museum collection has become increasingly trivial and superficial. My impression is that this devolution began with the move to its new building (more about that later). Many of the exhibits are clever exercises in technique rather than meaningful and affecting works of art. They ultimately left an empty feeling. Once you've seen them, they're easy to forget. Maybe that's the inevitable direction of contemporary art...disposable. The current exhibit on the music video will probably attract new visitors but it seemed like something you could have downloaded and played at home on a big screen TV.

I'm not in love with the building. It cost a fortune. The interior is cold and empty and warehouse-like with a staircase that is awkward to use. We visited shortly after the museum moved to this much-touted building. We noticed that already the drywall was scuffed and dented and that the cheap carpeting was coming unglued and fraying.

My rating is really a 2.5. The 3 is for good memories of exhibits past and the hope that the museum will seek exhibits with greater depth and meaning. The museum staff we encountered were gracious and very helpful.

Visited August 2012
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41 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Ramat Gan, Israel
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
70 attraction reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“good will is not enough”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2012

Too modern for my taste the music too loud and the creations and the art display above and beyond my understanding Got away disappointed well may be next time I will have a better undrtanding

Visited August 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northampton
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
28 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Free on Monday Nights”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2012

The only woman to win the Pritzker---Shaha Abid's first North American building. So much to see, and I happened to walk by and saw it was open until 9pm on Monday...and better yet, admission is free on Mondays thanks to underwriting sponsors.

Visited July 2012
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Cincinnati, Ohio
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“come on”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012

Wonderful building especially from the outside, but most of the exhibits are "cutting edge"....you know, a pile of rocks, or plastic bags filled with different colored polystyrene balls.....this joke's getting old .

Visited October 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great Art and Architecture!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2012

Always an interesting exhibition taking place as well as one of the coolest buildings downtown! Take the architecture tour its very interesting!

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