A Half-Day Tour of Cincinnati, Ohio

– Saturday, August 11th, 2018 –

A local bus tour of churches, with lunch provided.

“Tour of 6 Cincinnati Churches”
to admire Tiffany, LaFarge, Cincinnati, and Boston stained glass windows, as well as local art-carved furniture and woodwork

by Walter E. Langsam, Tim Kraus, and Stewart S. Maxwell

Cincinnatians are fortunate to have retained many significant houses of worship, despite noteworthy losses over the past two centuries. Historic landmarks such as “Old St. Mary’s,” St. Peter-in-Chains Cathedral, St. Xavier, Plum Street Temple, and Covenant-First Presbyterian Church remain in use Downtown.

This bus and walking tour will visit a particularly rich array of Protestant churches which adorn the earliest hill-top suburbs that ring the Downtown basin, many with remarkable architecture, important stained-glass windows including Tiffany and LaFarge, and superb decor featuring Cincinnati art-carved furnishings and works of art. Designed by leading Cincinnati architects of the period vying with each other for splendor and function, they represent typical church-forms and practices from the Civil War until World War I and even to the present. In the late 19th century, emphasis was often on the oratory and audibility of sermons, especially in what is known as the “Akron Plan,” with Sunday School rooms and parish halls that can open into the main sanctuaries on special occasions. Thus, exteriors have dramatic shapes, interiors have creatively varied spaces that reflect the nature of services, and symbolism is expressed in imaginative decorations in many media.

The churches to be visited include:

  1. The Covenant-First Presbyterian Church, designed by William Walter and William Stewart (1875);  Chapel by Garber & Woodward
  2. The Linton Street First Unitarian Church, designed by James W. McLaughlin (1887-88)
  3. Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church, designed by Henry E. Siter (1889-90)
  4. Church of the Advent, designed by A.C. Nash (1866, 1884), and others
  5. Clifton United Methodist Church, designed by Crapsey & Brown (1892)
  6. Calvary Episcopal Church, designed by William Tinsley (1867); Parish Hall by Samuel Hannaford

Midway through our tour, we will have lunch prepared for us by Jean-Robert de Cavel’s Le Bar Á Boeuf, known for its delectable cuisine and Ohio River views from a hilltop location in East Walnut Hills.

Click Here for Cincinnati Churches Tour Reservation Form

Church of the Advent

Covenant – First Presbyterian Church

Linton Street First Unitarian Church

Clifton United
Methodist Church

Calvary Episcopal Church

Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church

There is an additional fee for Bus Tour and Lunch.

FREE September Lecture

The DASC announces that this lecture
shall be FREE to the public.

Lecture and Reception

– Sunday, September 9th, 2018 –

2:00 P.M. at the Cincinnati Art Museum in the Fath Auditorium.

“A Vision of Place”

by William P. Curtis of Curtis & Windham
Architects of Houston

In the last quarter of the 19th-century and first quarter of the 20th-century, America’s gilded class had a number of outstanding architects espousing Beaux-Arts ideals at their beck and call in order to create the palaces of their dreams: Richard Morris Hunt; McKim, Mead, & White; Warren & Wetmore; Bruce Price; Peabody & Stearns; Horace Trumbauer; Delano & Aldrich; David Adler; Ogden Codman; Carrère & Hastings; and others.

With the imposition of the income tax, the Great Depression, World War I & II, rising utility expenses, and scarcity of household and landscape labor, the widespread lust for homes and estates built on a grand scale was greatly reduced by the mid-20th century. However, the very affluent, who not only can well afford beauty, but also those individuals who are discriminating in their appreciation of the finest in design, have William Curtis and his partner Russell Windham of Curtis & Windham Architects in Houston to bring their visions of domestic architectural bliss to become a reality.

With the founding of their firm in 1992, they both have dedicated their practice in promoting classical contemporary design, while being mindful of client’s needs, collections, the building’s surroundings, and environmental concerns of today. Their firm’s projects are based upon the architectural principles of Ancient Greece and Rome, as well as successive and consequential centuries of further appreciation, refinement, and reinterpretation by later architects also influenced and seduced by perfect proportions and attention to details. It is their contention that Classical architecture offers a vocabulary of design which allows much versatility and flexibility, while maintaining timelessness for the Ages.

Homes and gardens designed by Curtis & Windham Architects have been featured in a number of publications, including Architectural Digest, Southern Accents, and Period Homes. In 2017, a book entitled A Vision of Place was published, highlighting 18 of their most evocative and well-considered works.

Library of Knollwood House in Houston, Texas


A Vision of Place by William P. Curtis
and Russell Windham

Living Room at Inverness House in Houston, Texas

Enfilade view from the Salon of Inverness House in Houston, Texas

View from the guest house terrace at La Estancia del Rio in northern New Mexico

Cast iron spider web entrance gate to gardens at
Bonney Brier House and Gardens in Houston, Texas

Family Room of Inwood Pool Pavilion in Houston, Texas

Spiral Staircase at Seaside Drive House in Seaside, Florida

A Day Trip to West Liberty, Bellefontaine & Sidney, Ohio

– Sunday, October 14th, 2018 –

A comfortable bus trip to West Liberty, Bellefontaine and Sidney, Ohio,

with lunch and reception provided.

“Bus Trip and Tour of West Liberty, Bellefontaine, and Sidney, Ohio”
to visit the 2 Piatt Castles and Louis Sullivan’s
People’s Federal Savings & Loan

by Stewart S. Maxwell

On our excursion to central Ohio, we shall have the opportunity to visit an amazing array of early Ohio and architectural history, ranging from the 1820’s West Liberty log house to 2 limestone castles from the 1870’s, all built by the Piatt family of Cincinnati, to an innovative Modern-style bank in Sidney, to the early 1930’s atmospheric Holland Theater in Bellefontaine.

The tour will begin with the People’s Federal Savings and Loan Bank in Sidney, designed in 1917 in the Chicago School-style of architecture by one of America’s most reknowned architects, Louis H. Sullivan. As the employer and mentor of Frank Lloyd Wright, Sullivan was noted for his ground-breaking contemporary, functional designs, highlighted by overriding geometrical, yet natural, ornamental touches and exquisite attention to detail.

We shall then proceed to Bellefontaine which in its business district contains a Dutch-styled theater with stepped Flemish gables on the exterior, built in 1931. Inside, one is surrounded by a recreation of a 17th-century Dutch streetscape on both side walls of the theater, and it may be the only one of its type in the United States.

In West Liberty, Ohio, the Judge and Mrs. Benjamin Piatt family from Cincinnati built a relatively large log house. Eventually, their 2 sons, Abram and Donn, while living in the family’s log cabin built their 2 neighboring Gothic Revival castles with Flemish accents in the 1870’s: “Mac-A-Cheek” (1871) and “Mac-O-Chee” (1879). We will have the opportunity to tour all three homes as more is learned about the Piatt family and their desire for an elegant life. Incidentally, the Benjamin Piatt log home was recently featured in the October, 2017 issue of Early American Life and its current owners, Ron and Bobbie Gratz, will be our hosts. Also, Margaret Piatt, the great-great granddaughter of Abram and President of Piatt Castles Co., Inc., will lead our tour of the castles which have been home to five generations of her family.

Midway in our touring in West Liberty, we will have lunch at Liberty Gathering Place, known for its fine local cuisine. Before heading back to Cincinnati, a reception for us will be held at “Mac-A-Cheek,” as we try to imagine an earlier day of gracious living and entertaining in this castle on a farm in Ohio’s heartland.

Click Here for West Liberty, Bellefontaine & Sidney, Ohio Tour Reservation Form

Mac-O-Chee Castle in West Liberty

Mac-A-Cheek Castle in West Liberty

Piatt/Gratz log home, ca. 1820’s

Louis Sullivan’s People’s Federal Savings & Loan in Sidney, Ohio

There is an additional fee for Bus Tour and Lunch.

FREE November Lecture

The DASC announces that this lecture
shall be FREE to the public.

Moderne Penny Scale

Mills Modern Scale, ca. 1931

Lecture and Reception

– Sunday, November 4th, 2018 –

2:00 P.M. at the Cincinnati Art Museum in the Fath Auditorium.

“The American Weigh:
Chicago Art Deco Penny Scales,”
featuring The Collection of Christopher K. Steele
of Columbus, Ohio

by Dr. Ruth K. Meyer, former Director
of The Taft Museum of Art

Scales have always been popular and are now even collectible. Coin-operated public weighing machines, known as penny scales, were probably first originated in England, and Percy Everitt brought this technology to America in 1885 when he received the first U.S. patent for a scale.

Beginning at amusement parks, they made their way onto streets, train station platforms, and anywhere else people congregated. Early machines featured tubes which inflated balloons to test your lung strength, electric shock devices which tested endurance, and even gambling features to win back your penny or nickel (until this was declared a racket). Eventually, fortune telling was added along with charts which displayed ideal height and weight statistics.

Scales generated profits for their owners, which led to more manufacturers entering the marketplace. Each one promoted a variety of design features such as colorful, eye-catching paint coatings, mirrors, and trims. Scales from the late 19th-century reflected the influence of Beaux-Arts classicism (the oldest one in the Steele Collection is 1891). As the Machine Age and Art Deco became popular, design motifs, scale designs ranged from lollipops to skyscrapers – even Mr. Peanut!

Former Cincinnatian and Director of The Taft Museum of Art, Dr. Ruth K. Meyer will educate us in the history of the penny scales. For the past 7½ years, she has had the pleasure of working with the collector, Christopher K. Steele of Columbus, Ohio, in researching the history of the penny scales – many produced in Chicago. Known for its modern architecture, Chicago industrial designers introduced a new formal language to mass-produced commercial products. A forthcoming book on the Steele Collection will include a catalog of sixty-one outstanding machines, many images of which she will share with us.

We look forward to seeing you at our DASC lecture in the Art Museum’s Fath Auditorium (use the DeWitt entrance), followed by our reception in The Castellini Room!

Christopher K. Steele with his collection in Columbus, Ohio

Tour and Holiday Reception

– Sunday, December 2nd, 2018 –

2:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M.

“A Festive Holiday Party at
the Frank Enger Mansion
of North Avondale”

by Stewart S. Maxwell

Selected by Prof. Walter E. Langsam and Alice Weston as one of the Great Houses of The Queen City, The Frank Enger Mansion of North Avondale is the location for this year’s Decorative Arts Society of Cincinnati’s Holiday Party.

Designed in the mid-1890s by architect Matthew H. Burton in the Beaux-Arts Style for the Enger family, it combines the classical elegance and refinement of the Italian Renaissance with the prominent horizontal lines, deep eaves, subtle color palette of building materials, and spacious open plan of the early Modern Prairie School of Frank Lloyd Wright and others. The home’s facade resembles a Florentine palazzo with the rhythmic succession of round arched windows on the First Floor, the usage of a Paladian arch on the Second Floor over the entry, and a combination of bull’s eye windows and garlands of flowers and leaves incorporated into a white glazed-terra cotta tile frieze at the Third Floor cornice.

The Frank Enger Mansion of North Avondale

The openess of the Enger Mansion interior is quite notable, allowing large spaces to flow into one another or which can be divided with broad concealed pocket doors. Upon entering the home, its spacious foyer contains a carved mantelpiece with a large sweeping curve extending from pilaster to pilaster, and its placement accentuates the hearth as the welcoming heart of the home. The panelling is dignified, yet restrained, and contributes to an interior of understated elegance.

Our hosts, Ryan Messer and James Musuraca, have graciously opened their beautifully restored residence for our touring pleasure. Prior to their purchase, it had been used for years as an honors dormitory for nearby Xavier University, and thus our city should be most grateful to them for cherishing this home and allowing it to be appreciated by current and future generations.

Come join us for this festive holiday celebration, held in one of Cincinnati’s most prestigious residences. Musician Barbara Leeds will perform and enable us all to be in the spirit of the season. An elaborate catered buffet shall be provided to entice your taste buds, while we are surrounded by this mansion’s beauty.

Click Here for Holiday Party Reservation Form

Foyer and Staircase

Coach House

There is an additional fee for this Tour and Party.

992 Marion Avenue

Cincinnati, Ohio 45229

FREE February Lecture

The DASC announces that this lecture
shall be FREE to the public.

Lecture and Reception

– Sunday, February 10th, 2019 –

2:00 P.M. at the Cincinnati Art Museum in the Fath Auditorium.

“The Peggy and David Rockefeller
Collection & Auction”

by Steven J. Zick, Senior Vice President of Christie’s

As the scion of his grandfather, John D. Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil, and his parents John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, David inherited not only great wealth, but also a sense of responsibility, compassion, and a great love of art. Inspired by his mother’s great appreciation for the arts, David with his wife Peggy (née McGrath) purchased and inherited a truly stellar international collection of paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts ranging from centuries old to the Modern era.

Living to be 101 years old (1915-2017), David Rockefeller witnessed an incredible transformation of the world with a front row seat. As the chairman and chief executive officer of Chase Manhattan Bank, his knowledge, impact, and influence was felt around the globe. Peggy (who died in 1996) and David decided to sell their priceless collection of artifacts to benefit 12 major philanthropies ranging from scientific research, higher education, support for the arts, sustainable economic development, and land conservation initiatives. In allowing Christie’s to auction their 1,500 objects, $832.6 million was raised for these charities – the highest auction total ever realized for a private collection. Record prices were set for a number of items, including: Pablo Picasso’s “Fillette à la Corbeille Fleurie” sold for $115,000,000; Claude Monet’s “Nymphéas en Fleur” achieved $84,687,500; Henri Matisse’s “Odalisque” brought $80,750,000.

Steven J. Zick, Senior Vice President of Christie’s, will share with us the Rockefeller’s fascinating story, generosity, and these outstanding art objects which his auction house had the privilege of selling.

In considering his appreciation of art, David Rockefeller believed that “art is the highest level of creativity. To me, it is one of the greatest sources of enjoyment.” These pleasures of David and Peggy will now continue by providing benefits to many through their charitable acts of kindness.

Chinese Export Porcelain dinner service

Eclectic porcelain collection shown with Chinese-influenced vitrine

Monet’s Nymphéas en Fleur (1914-17)

Picasso’s Fillette à la Corbeille Fleurie (1905)

Matisse’s Odalisque Lying with Magnolias (1923)

The consummate collectors, Peggy and David Rockefeller, relax in their living room surrounded by their cherished objects.

FREE March Lecture

The DASC announces that this lecture
shall be FREE to the public.

Kreines Lecture and Reception

– Sunday, March 10th, 2019 –

2:00 P.M. at the Cincinnati Art Museum in the Fath Auditorium.

– Art Nouveau – What’s in a Name? –

by Dr. Martin Eidelberg

Art Nouveau is often discussed as a singular style, but in truth, it embraced a diversity of ideas and expressions including those inspired by nature, geometry and Japanese art. Join Dr. Martin Eidelberg for an eye-opening look at how this glorious mix of styles came into existence, and discover how Siegfried Bing’s Parisian gallery, “L‘Art Nouveau” further influenced the movement and simulated the creation of extraordinarily beautiful and original objects at the turn of the twentieth century.

The Kreines Lecture is an annual presentation on a decorative arts subject sponsored by Mrs. Barbara Kreines. The lecture series, established by her and her late husband Dr. Kenneth Kreines, promotes cutting-edge and non-traditional design topics in order to appeal to the broadest audience, as determined by Mrs. Kreines and the museum’s curatorial staff.

Original White Water Shaker Settlement complex

A Day Trip to New Haven, Ohio

– Sunday, April 14th, 2019 –

A comfortable bus trip to New Haven, Ohio, with lunch and reception provided.

“Bus Trip and Tour of New Haven, Ohio
to visit the White Water Shaker Settlement and their 20 surviving buildings beginning in 1825”

by Stewart S. Maxwell

White Water Shaker Village was established in 1823 near New Haven, Ohio, located in the northwest corner of Hamilton County,  along the Dry Fork of the Whitewater River. Over time, this community thrived and expanded to over 1,400 acres composed of mostly farm land – some of the finest in the country.

Founded by Ann Lee from Manchester, England, she put forth the doctrines in 1770 professing the sect’s beliefs and practices. She and her followers came to America in 1774 to establish their first American Shaker community in Watervliet, New York. Eventually, 18 other settlements were founded: 12 east of the Alleghenies and 6 west.

Shakers received their name from their ecstatic, erratic behavior during worship services, which was seen as an antidote to their celibate lifestyle. Advocates of pacifism; equality of the sexes within a communal society; renouncing lustful gratifications with minimal contact between the sexes; complete rejection of unnecessary embellishments: the manifestation of these beliefs is found in their simple, pure lifestyle. Shaker craftsmanship is utilitarian and functional, but all were made well because they felt that this was in itself an act of prayer. Their dancing may have been individually erratic, but everything else in their lives was ordered and symmetrical.

In the mid-19th century, there were 6,000 Shakers; as of a few years ago, there were only 2. Although they accepted orphans and the homeless, their celibate existence led to the thinning of their community’s population. In 1916, the White Water Shaker Settlement became extinct, and locally was forgotten.

Today, the settlement’s 22 buildings and land are owned by the Hamilton County Park Board, but it is not open to the public. In 2007, the Friends of White Water Shaker Village, Inc. began leasing the settlement from the park board with the intent of restoring and preserving the Shaker buildings and grounds, while exhibiting artifacts related to the site.

For our tour, we will be reliving the Shaker’s past by not only touring the buildings, some of which are being restored, but also having a Shaker buffet prepared for our lunch in the historic Meeting House built in 1827. Additionally, Shaker dancers and singers will perform for our enjoyment, and they will teach us how to “shake” and sing one of their songs. Before returning to Cincinnati, a reception of light refreshments will be offered.

Click Here for White Water Shaker Settlement in New Haven, Ohio Tour Reservation Form

There is an additional fee for Bus Tour, Lunch, and Reception.

Robert S. Duncanson Portrait of
Nicholas Longworth I (1783-1863)

Thomas S. Noble Portrait of Joseph Longworth (1813-1883)

Lecture and Dinner Meeting

– Friday, May 17th, 2019 –

6:00 P.M. at the Cincinnati Country Club in Hyde Park.

“The Longworth Family of Newark, NJ
and Cincinnati, OH”
The Founding of 2 Art Museums in Both Cities Connected to the Same Family and an overview of Newark’s Collection
(celebrating its 110th anniversary in 2019)

by Ulysses Grant Dietz, Former Acting Director
and Chief Curator of the Newark Museum,
as well as descendant of the President

Newark, N.J. and Cincinnati, OH are fortunate to have been able to share the Longworth family, who contributed much to the arts and culture in both cities. Having originally settled in Newark, the Longworths prospered there and did much to become one of that city’s leading families. However, as Loyalists to the crown at the time of the American Revolution, they lost much of their fortune. This situation is what led Nicholas Longworth, I (1783-1863) to leave his family in Newark and re-establish himself in the fastest growing city in America in the first half of the 19th-century: Cincinnati. Nicholas and his descendants did much to bring greatness to Cincinnati, including the establishment of the Art Museum and Art Academy on their donated Eden Park property, founding Rookwood Pottery Co., The College of Music, and many other forms of munificence. Nicholas’ great-grandson of the same name even married President Teddy Roosevelt’s daughter Alice and became U.S. Speaker of the House.

In the meantime, the Newark branch of the Longworth/Ward family restored their prominence by serving in government as the N.J. Governor, Congressional representative, and a variety of businesses. Their Newark family home, in fact, became the location of the Newark Museum, founded in 1909 and celebrating its 110th anniversary.

Besides being a great-great-grandson of the President, our speaker Ulysses Grant Dietz has spent much of his career associated with the Newark Museum, expanding its holdings as Chief Curator. Before his recent retirement, Mr. Dietz rose to become its Acting Director.

While discussing the Longworth family’s connection to these two museums, Mr. Dietz will focus his lecture on the wide-ranging collection of the Newark Museum, from its beginnings to the current day. In 1990, the musem expanded into a newly designed facility by former Cincinnatian and New Jersey resident, Michael Graves.

Mr. and Mrs. William Knodel are planning the details for a superb event beginning at 6:00pm in the elegant Cincinnati Country Club, Main Clubhouse, 2348 Grandin Road in Hyde Park. Black Tie is optional. (Valet parking is conveniently located at the front entrance.)

Click Here for Annual Dinner Meeting & Lecture Reservation Form

Because this is our last gathering of the season, we
will celebrate by holding this lecture and dinner meeting
at the elegant Cincinnati Country Club in Hyde Park;
there is an additional charge for this event.

Original Cincinnati Art Museum entrance, opened in 1886

Maria Longworth Nichols Storer (1849-1932)
founder of Rookwood Pottery

Parlor of the Ballantine House in Newark Museum

Dining Room of the Ballantine House in Newark Museum

Home of Marcus Longworth Ward, site of the current Newark Museum

Portrait of Nicholas Longworth Ward by Lily Martin Spencer

Today’s Newark Museum complex of buildings