Women walking up Art Climb steps (photo by Cincinnati Art Museum and Phil Armstrong)
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Art Climb, Cincinnati

Whether you’re looking for an inspired moment or seeking a new way to get active, the Art Climb at the Cincinnati Art Museum is there for your next step.

With 164 steps that ascend nine stories while passing 16 landings and four art plazas, the Art Climb was a welcome addition to the Cincinnati Art Museum when it opened in May 2020. At the top, visitors are greeted with a pavilion and views of the Queen City from an elevation of 450 feet. 

Cincinnati Art Museum director Cameron Kitchin envisioned the idea of creating a grand staircase for the museum and integrating it with the surrounding neighborhood. 

“It is an outdoor gallery,” Kitchin explains. “It’s a curated sculpture space that is as important to the museum as any of the interior galleries, but operates in a new and different way, that says anyone in Cincinnati, on their own terms and on their own schedule and completely free of charge, can be part of the art experience at the museum.”

Visitors can access the stairs from the top near the main entrance of the museum’s parking lot, from the bottom at Gilbert Avenue and Eden Park Drive, or from side paths crossing throughout the hill. Four sculptures are on view along the ascent, with more expected throughout spring and summer. Two are currently on loan from Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum in Hamilton. 

After exploring the stairs, the museum itself awaits. Art lovers can see the Cincinnati Art Museum’s permanent collection free of charge, although there are special exhibitions that require separate admission. The ticketed special exhibition, “Paintings, Politics and the Monuments Men: The Berlin Masterpieces in America,” opens July 9. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday.

953 Eden Park Dr., Cincinnati 45202, 513/721-2787, cincinnatiartmuseum.org

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