The Cincinnati Art Museum’s Art Climb

The Cincinnati Art Museum is an iconic Cincy institution. In addition to housing world-renounced works of art and hosting internationally recognized artists, the Cincinnati Art Museum is also incredibly accessible and family friendly. It truly is a place for all of Cincinnati. This spring, the beloved museum took its commitment to community engagement to the next level (literally) with the Art Climb.

The Cincinnati Art Museum’s Art Climb is a splendid work of art that marries form and function through an artfully arranged nine-story staircase. The Art Climb is 164 carefully laid steps that connect the Cincinnati Art Museum to its neighbors.

The Art Climb includes a staircase from the sidewalk at the intersection of Eden Park Drive and Gilbert Avenue and leading all the way up to the front museum entrance. This project effectively opens up the museum grounds to the city, connecting the museum to its neighbors in a dramatic and meaningful way. (A Cincinnati Metro bus stop is located at the bottom of the staircase.)

Along the way, there are lots of spots to sit and take everything in. My kids eagerly ambled up the steps, jumping from stair to stair. The Cincinnati Art Museum took great care to preserve as much of the natural landscape as possible, and the result is a sprawling staircase that seems to rise out of the earth.

At the top, there is a large pavilion where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city. Going forward, the Art Museum hopes the Art Climb can provide a space to incorporate outdoor art, effectively opening its doors to the community and making art something everyone can access and enjoy.

A few notes: while using the stairs, remember to maintain proper social distancing. There is a guard rail at the center of the staircase, which makes it easy to keep a healthy distance as you’re climbing. And while the Cincinnati Art Museum is fully accessible, this staircase is not. However, the top landing will be made ADA compliant with the addition of a ramp during the Art Museum’s next building phase. Additional accessible ramps are part of future phases elsewhere on the museum grounds as well.

This month, as Cincinnati begins to reopen its doors and emerge from COVID-19 quarantine, the Cincinnati Art Museum’s Art Climb is a glorious reminder that we are all connected, and that our city is truly someplace special. 

The Cincinnati Art Museum is located at 953 Eden Park Drive. At the time of this writing, the Cincinnati Art Museum was still closed, but the stairs are open.

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