Friday, January 21, 2011

A Cincinnati Artist Spends Time with a President

Cincinnati's history of art patronage is grounded in recordings of relationships between politicians and artists. The venerable Taft Museum of Art stands as perhaps the grandest link between the arts and a president even if in family name only (Charles Phelps Taft, who lived in the mansion from 1873 until his death, was the half-brother of President William Howard Taft).

But before Taft there was a relationship cultivated between a Cincinnati artist and a President-elect. Until now, I don't believe I've ever heard of Thomas Dow Jones. In the NY Times you can read a wonderful story of the sculptor's work on a bust of Abraham Lincoln. It is an interesting bit of history that captures a relationship between an artist and his subject and the importance of portraiture. Interesting too is the dance between the mediums of sculpture and photography.


Anonymous said...

Here's another great Cincinnati artist/president connection:

Hiram Powers, with the patronage of Nicholas Longworth, went to Washington and sculpted the bust of Andrew Jackson in 1834. Its success launched the Cincinnati artist's international career.