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Whitfield Lovell: Passages – Art Exhibit

March 1 May 26

Cincinnati Art Museum

Price Varies

Whitfield Lovell

Attend the Whitfield Lovell: Passages Art Exhibit at Cincinnati Art Museum from March 1 through May 26.

Whitfield Lovell: Passages urges viewers to contemplate the ordinary lives and extraordinary journeys of the African American experience while raising universal questions about identity, memory, and America’s collective heritage. Over 80 evocative multisensory installations, conté crayon drawings, and assemblages comprise this most comprehensive exhibition of the artist’s work.

Born in the Bronx, Lovell, a 2007 MacArthur Fellowship recipient, creates exquisite drawings, finding inspiration in photographs of unidentified African Americans taken between the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil Rights Movement. He creates assemblages by pairing his drawings—on paper or salvaged wood boards—with found objects, many weathered by time.

Some of Lovell’s assemblages appear in his larger installations, while others he presents as symbolic and enigmatic stand-alone tableaux. Works from his acclaimed Kin series evolved into recent productions, The Reds and Card Pieces.

Whitfield Lovell: Passages Admission

The Whitfield Lovell: Passages exhibit is ticketed. Free for Members.

Nonmembers can see the exhibition for free on Thursday nights from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

  • Whitfield Lovell
  • Whitfield Lovell
  • Whitfield Lovell

Whitfield Lovell: Passages Experiential Installations

Two of Lovell’s experiential installations, Deep River and Visitation: The Richmond Project, are brought together here for the first time.

The monumental Deep River (2013) combines video projections, sound, drawings, and everyday objects. Documenting the perilous journey freedom seekers took by crossing the Tennessee River during the Civil War, Deep River addresses the struggle for freedom and its inherent themes of abandonment, death, life, and hope. At the same time, it invites viewers to consider the larger human quest for equality and the pursuit of a better life—matters that transcend time and geography.

Visitation: The Richmond Project (2001) is a profound homage to the country’s first major Black entrepreneurial community. In this emotive installation, the artist pays tributes to the lives, names, and faces of the people of Jackson Ward in Richmond, Virginia. Lovell explains, “The installations are about memory and heritage, and the markings that the past has made—and continues to make—on who we are.”

Whitfield Lovell: Passages is organized by the American Federation of Arts in collaboration with Whitfield Lovell. Major support for the national tour and exhibition catalogue are provided by National Endowment for the Arts and the Terra Foundation for American Art. In Cincinnati, this exhibition was financially assisted by The Patricia Kisker Foundation.

Gallery Talk Plus

Saturday, April 13, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Reservations required. Members: $10, General public: $20
Gain a deeper insight into the exhibition Whitfield Lovell: Passages through this unique gallery experience for adult audiences. Join an in-depth discussion of a topic led by a curator or guest speaker inside the selected exhibition. Then, enjoy an exclusive performance or artistic demonstration supporting the exhibition’s or artwork’s themes.

Create Plus

Saturday, May 11, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Reservations required. Members: $20, General Public: $30
Try a new art technique in this studio-based program designed for adult audiences. Each themed class will begin with a discussion in Whitfield Lovell: Passages, led by an artist or educator, to gain inspiration and understanding of the art form. Then, learn from skilled artists to take your artmaking practice to the next level.

Cincinnati Art Museum Venue Details

The Cincinnati Art Museum is supported by the generosity of individuals and businesses that give annually to ArtsWave. The Ohio Arts Council helps fund the Cincinnati Art Museum with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. The Cincinnati Art Museum gratefully acknowledges operating support from the City of Cincinnati and its members. A gift from the Rosenthal Family Foundation makes free general admission to the Cincinnati Art Museum possible. Exhibition pricing may vary. Generous support for the museum’s extended Thursday hours is provided by the Art Bridges Foundation’s Access for All program.


Museum admission and parking are free.


  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 11 a.m. –5 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Thursday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Friday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Saturday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Sunday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Parking is free in Museum lots. Accessible parking is available. Wheelchair and stroller entry is available via the front entrance. Bike Racks are available outside the Main Entrance of the Art Museum. Arrive using Cincinnati METRO.


The Cincinnati Art Museum strives for inclusivity by increasing accessibility to its collection, programming, and resources. For more information about accessibility programs or to request accommodations, please contact [email protected].

The Voice of Black Cincinnati is a media company designed to educate, recognize, and create opportunities for African Americans. Want to find local news, events, job postings, scholarships, and a database of local Black-owned businesses? Visit our homepage, explore other articles, subscribe to our newsletter, like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, and text VOBC to 513-270-3880.

Images provided by Cincinnati Art Museum


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953 Eden Park Drive
Cincinnati,OH45202United States
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