Friday, November 11, 2011

Cincinnati Art Museum

One of my favorite places to visit is the Cincinnati Art Museum. Alot of people find it as a surprise that I love art. I think it is amazing how much talent some people have to be able to take a blank canvas and turn it into something beautiful. One of the other reason I love going to the Cincinnati Art Museum is because it is haunted. The museum stands on a hill in Cincinnati's Eden Park, which by the way is haunted also I will have a post on it later. The museum was founded in 1881. Museum curators have collected an eclectic mix of artwork, more than eighty thousand pieces displayed in eighty-eight galleries.  One of my favorite attractions at the museum is the Egyptian mummy lying in a glass case located in the first floor antiquities section. An x-ray has revealed that the mummy is that of a man, approximately thirty five years old. Still tightly wrapped in linen, the mummy wears a painted mask, breastplate, and leg coverings.  He is one of the thing's that is believed to haunt the museum. At least one guard has admitted seeing a strange mist resembling the figure of a person rise up above the case holding the mummy, linger in the air for a few minutes, then disappear. The other thing that haunts the museum is the second floor medieval Spanish section. In a small alcove off one of the larger rooms in the gallery is a reproduction of the twelfth century chapel from Ermita dn San Baudelio in north central Spain. There is a thirteenth century wooden tomb effigy Don Sancho Saiz Carillo lying in a glass case. Beneath a fresco of a knight on horseback, a hunting falcon perched on his hand, Don Sancho lay peacefully, wearing his crown, his sword ready at his side. The whole room contains so many amazing and beautiful pieces. The temperature in the chapel is much cooler than the rest of the alcove or the larger gallery outside, and the thick masonry walls and floor dampened any sound. It was quiet as a tomb. One night a security guard was making his final rounds of the medieval gallery, he glanced down the gallery toward the alcove and there, standing beneath the Moorish arch, was a robed and hooded figure all in black. The guard could not make out a face. There is yet another ghost that haunts the museum, one that appropriately speaks both of the ghost's love of art and of her love for her artist husband, Frank Duneneck. In the Cincinnati wing of the museum, there is a small gallery containing a funerary memorial to Elizabeth Boott Duveneck, or "Lizzie", as family and friends knew her. The black plaster effigy is a copy of the original bronze that lies atop her sarcophagus in Allori Cemetery in Florence, Italy. Lizzie rests peacefully, her head lying on a pillow, flowing drapery covering her body as though she were sleeping in bed. She wears a high collared blouse typical of the 1880s and her hair is plaited in a thick braid coiled upon her head. Her hands are folded upon her chest and a large palm frond, symbolizing triumph over death, lies across her body. Lizzie and Frank were married in 1886, just a few months shy of her fortieth birthday. Her father made his new son in law sign an agreement that would deny him any inheritance in the event of his wife's death. In 1887, a son was born to the couple, and Lizzie's father reinstated his son in law's inheritance rights. In 1888 Lizzie went to bed, sick with a chill. Four days later she died of pneumonia. She was living in Paris at the time. Her husband Frank returned to the United States the following year, leaving his son in the care of his in laws in Boston, and settled in Cincinnati. There he began the memorial to the love of his life, a woman to whom he had be married to for only two years. Lizzie's effigy was the first sculptural piece Duveneck had ever attempted, so he enlisted the aid of Clement J. Barnhorn, a local sculptor. The simple but elegant effigy was awarded an honorable mention by the Paris Salon of 1895, and a copy was exhibited in the Boston Museum of Fine Art where Frank and Lizzie's son could view it. Frank lived out his life in Cincinnati, where he was named to the faculty of the Cincinnati Academy of Art and eventually served as its director. He died in 1919 and was buried across the Ohio River in his hometown of Covington, Kentucky. And Lizzie still "resides" nearby.
A wispy dark mist has been seen rising up from the effigy, coalescing into a human like shape as it hovers over the recumbent figure of Lizzie. It floats there only seconds before vanishing into the air. Maybe Lizzie is looking for Frank, waiting for him to rejoin her, surrounded by the art they both loved so much.
I will post the pictures on this blog of the things listed here that are suppose to be haunted, then I will add some more pictures of the beautiful art in a blog by them self.
The museum is located at 953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio
There website is http://www.cinicnnatiartmuseum.org/
It is free to get into the museum and if you park in their parking lot the charge is $4.00
Some of the exhibits you are not allowed to take pictures. I am sure you will find something there that you will love, after all they have painting from well known artists such as Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and many more. Hope you enjoy it if you go and who knows what little haunted things you might see :)

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