Cincinnati Museum Center has cultivated curiosity and inspired the pursuit of knowledge for more than 200 years
IT ALL STARTED WITH THE WESTERN MUSEUM
CMC is continuing the legacy of Dr. Daniel Drake, founder of the Western Museum, with stunning exhibitions, new permanent exhibits and an ongoing commitment to bring the world to Cincinnati. Celebrate CMC’s legacy of discovery as we look forward to the next century of innovation and vibrant museum experiences.
In 1818, Dr. Daniel Drake founded the Western Museum Society for “the illustration of our Natural History…as people in our situation have special need of an acquaintance with their productions and resources.” Its first employee was a relatively unknown artist, John James Audubon, who was hired in 1819 as a taxidermist and background painter. During his brief time in Cincinnati, Audubon began his multi-volume masterwork Birds of America, cementing himself as a world-renowned wildlife artist.
After two years of fundraising and collections acquisition, the Western Museum, the predecessor to the Museum of Natural History & Science, opened in 1820, the first public science museum west of the Alleghenies.
For 200 years, CMC has brought the world to Cincinnati, and brought guests closer to the world around them. Today, Cincinnati Museum Center continues to encourage a greater connection with our natural history and emphasizes innovation, research and the persistent pursuit of knowledge. New experiences utilizing our rich collections of more than 3 million objects and new technology ensure a dynamic museum experience for the next generation. CMC is a source of community pride and a regional destination. It carries on the legacy of leaders like Dr. Drake, Audubon, Hiram Powers, Neil Armstrong and John Ruthven and inspires tomorrow’s biologists, doctors, engineers, historians, artists, leaders and critical thinkers.
OPEN THROUGH JANUARY 5, 2020
Explore Cincinnati Museum Center's 200-year history through the artwork of John James Audubon, John A. Ruthven and the next generation of wildlife artists. The exhibition features original works of art, including all four volumes of Audubon's Bird of America and charcoal sketches and paintings from Ruthven. Accompanying the treasured artwork are scientific specimens immortalized on canvas by the artists, including the Great Auk, an extinct bird painted by both artists.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Open daily with the exception of Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day.
Members-only early entry at 9 a.m. on Mondays and Saturdays.
As we continue to develop and open new galleries for you to explore, there are select times when adjacent galleries may be temporarily unavailable in order for exhibit work to occur. Please see the current list of unavailable galleries and dates here.