Celebrating Christmas past at the Taft Museum of Art

By Christi Geary   My nine year old daughter and I had the privilege of visiting the Taft Museum of Art’s Antique Christmas exhibit (open through 1/8/17) this past week. What an unexpected delight! Museums…

By Christi Geary


My nine year old daughter and I had the privilege of visiting the Taft Museum of Art’s Antique Christmas exhibit (open through 1/8/17) this past week. What an unexpected delight! Museums are generally not my first pick for places to spend time if I have a spare moment, but this particular museum and this exhibit absolutely changed my mind. It was a hit before we even entered, when my daughter realized she had previously visited the Taft on a school field trip and she would be the ‘expert’ on this adventure. Upon entering the side entrance (easy access parking in the rear,) you are immediately immersed in the holiday spirit, with beautiful decorations and a wonderful reception.


Provided by Cincinnati Art Museum
Provided by Taft Museum of Art


For those who may not think the Taft and this particular exhibit are kid-friendly, think again! They offer an ‘I Spy’ guide for the kids to enjoy as they navigate the exhibit, along with an easy-to-follow adult guide with interesting facts about all the antique ornaments, toys and decorations. And did I mention the wonderful reception? Every single person we encountered, from the admissions desk to the museum proctors to the gift shop, were amazingly kind and helpful. Three different people introduced themselves to my daughter and showed her ‘special’ things within the exhibits that we may not have noticed on our own. In a year that has been a little crazy, the kindness and holiday spirit shown at the Taft Museum of Art helped us remember what the holidays truly represent.

Click here for a quick video of the exhibit:

Provided by Taft Museum of Art

Provided by the Taft Museum of Art

The Taft made the excellent decision to integrate the Antique Christmas exhibit throughout the main museum, enabling you to enjoy all the artwork that is usually on display. As an art lover and an art minor in college, it was so enjoyable to immerse in fantastic art and share it with my nine-year old. While my six-year-old would have enjoyed it as well, my older daughter took the time to really read and learn about the exhibits. Our favorite elements of the Antique Christmas included the Pajama Dog and the Patriotic Tree – not something you see every day!

As an added bonus, the Picturing the West: Masterworks of 19th Century Landscape Photography exhibit is also currently on display. It includes extraordinary images of the Old West and helps you better understand the challenge of photography at that time. Make sure you look closely at each picture; there are many include hidden elements in the background you may not notice at first glance (ask the proctors to help.) We wrapped up the visit with a quick trip to the gift shop, which has a number of excellent options for that hard-to-please gift recipient on your list. If you have a little more time, consider the Lindner Family Café for lunch or Sunday brunch and/or a festive afternoon tea on Thursdays.

Courtesy of the Taft Museum of Art
Courtesy of the Taft Museum of Art


All in all, it was a wonderful afternoon with my daughter that allowed us to spend quality time with each other, learn about the history of Christmas decorations, and truly get into the holiday spirit with the kindness that we encountered throughout. Take some time to visit the Taft Museum of Art and explore their Antique Christmas exhibit this holiday season. Happy Holidays!

Christi Geary is the proud mom of two girls under 10, best friend and wife of her husband Brian, and an Associate Director at the Procter & Gamble Company focused on shopper insights and analytics.