Midwest Living Review
Originally called the Baum-Taft House (named for the Baums who built it in 1820 and then the Sintons and Tafts, who lived there 50 years later), the Taft Art Museum is located at the very eastern edge of downtown Cincinnati, overlooking Lytle Park. The museum is both quaint (you get the feeling you are walking through someone's home) and impressive. It's the perfect museum if you want to see some great art but only have an hour or so to browse. What we particularly love: the Taft Top 10 -- a sheet of paper guiding you to the 10 highlights in the museum. It's not a gimmick: They are true highlights, and include a Rembrandt ("Portrait of a Man Rising From His Chair," 1633, one of only two Rembrandts in Ohio), a Whistler ("At the Piano," 1858), a Singer Sargent ("Robert Louis Stevenson," 1887) and a series of landscape murals painted by Robert Duncanson, the first African-American artist to get international recognition. (If you can believe it, these impressive pieces were once covered; once you see them, this will feel like the worst crime you've ever heard.) There is also a good selection of medieval treasures, Chinese porcelain, French limoges enamel pieces, Dutch art (we love "Sewing School at Katwijk," 1881), and 18th- and 19th-century European art. Each room of the house is a gallery, so it's easy to move about and go back to your favorites (our favorites were the Music Room and the 19th-Century Figural Paintings Room). Plus, roving docents are happy to answer questions. The audio guide (free) is also helpful, and there is a cafe (with a very pretty courtyard) serving lunch. Admission charged.