We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
New! Find and book your ideal hotel on TripAdvisor — and get the lowest prices

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

Contemporary Arts Center
Ranked #40 of 170 things to do in Cincinnati
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
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
Level Contributor
125 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Too much technique, not enough art.”
3 of 5 bubbles 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
Helpful?
Thank Thruthegarden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

97 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    46
    32
    11
    4
    4
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Ramat Gan, Israel
Level Contributor
199 reviews
118 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“good will is not enough”
3 of 5 bubbles 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
Helpful?
Thank blue_or
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northampton
Level Contributor
223 reviews
88 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Free on Monday Nights”
5 of 5 bubbles 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
Helpful?
1 Thank NorthamptonSyd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
32 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“come on”
3 of 5 bubbles 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
Helpful?
1 Thank johnny w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great Art and Architecture!”
5 of 5 bubbles 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!

Helpful?
Thank Julia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Contemporary Arts Center also viewed

 

Been to Contemporary Arts Center? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing