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Cincinnati Museum Center debuts new exhibits for July 17 reopening

Advanced tickets on sale now

CINCINNATI – Guests returning to Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) can expect a few new additions when it reopens. CMC is debuting two brand new permanent exhibits in its Cincinnati History Museum, plus two free featured exhibitions. The added experiences also come with new safety protocols and crowd capacity measures. CMC will turn on the fountain to kick off its reopening July 17. Advanced tickets are now on sale.

CMC’s 60-foot Galeamopus and fierce Torvosaurus are ready to tower over guests in the Dinosaur Hall and the Queen of the West is anchored along the banks of the Public Landing. Apollo 11 is fueled up in the OMNIMAX® Theater and the mysteries of the Maya are waiting to be revealed in Maya: The Exhibition. CMC is gearing up for reopening and we’ve prepared some new additions for the opening.

The Cincinnati History Museum reopens with two new exhibits – Shaping Our City and You Are Here. Shaping Our City explores how rivers, rails and roads have shaped and defined our region over the centuries. Transportation has both spurred and been spurred by innovation, showcased in the exhibit by vehicles, maps spanning centuries, objects and interactives elements. The exhibit also addresses the complex ways in which transportation has also divided the city and its people. The exhibit was funded by support from Phillip and Whitney Long, Barb Ebel, Hilltop Basic Resources and Hilltop Stone.

You Are Here shares stories of Cincinnati’s people, places, traditions and struggles and the way they combine to define our city. The exhibit is centered on three themes: Living Here, Working Here and Playing Here. Cincinnati’s rich food scene, sports history and vibrant arts and culture shine alongside public-submitted family photos and home videos. The celebration of the Queen City and its people – past, present and future – includes a news desk where guests can read historic news stories, a Cincinnati-themed quiz and a mural studio inspired by and developed with ArtWorks. The exhibit was funded by support from The Jewish Foundation and the H.B., E.W. and F.R. Luther Foundation, Fifth Third Bank and Narley L. Haley, Co-Trustees.

The new exhibits open alongside the expanded Cincinnati in Motion display – featuring more than 1,200 buildings, over 500 vehicles, 18 running locomotives and 2,000 people in an S-scale model of the Queen City spanning 4,000 square feet and a lighting cycle that transitions the city from day to night.

Maya: The Exhibition makes long-awaited US debut

The sophisticated Maya civilization was buried in the heart of the rainforest. CMC is helping bring their innovations and accomplishments to light. Maya: The Exhibition showcases over 300 artifacts from the Maya civilization in the US for the first time. They tell a story of a people who developed a calendar more accurate than any other in the world by studying the stars. A people whose discovery of the number zero opened the door for advanced mathematics. The people who introduced the world to chocolate. Theirs was a civilization of astronomers, mathematicians, inventors and gods.

Maya: The Exhibition reveals how the Maya’s influence continues to impact us today, and how their people live on in the millions who carry on their tradition in language and lineage.

Commemorating 100 years of women’s suffrage

An Unfinished Revolution: Women and the Vote commemorates the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, showcasing the courage and resilience of women who have fought for their right to vote. The exhibition tells a story of years of struggle and sacrifice to secure the vote, and the ongoing fight by some groups for their right to vote. Documents and objects from CMC’s collections, along with interactives and graphics, show the power of the vote, leaving you with a clear impression of why the vote is worth fighting for.

An Unfinished Revolution: Women and the Vote is supported by the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund and the Ohio Humanities Council.

Honoring legendary artist Charley Harper

CMC is also celebrating the art and activism of legendary artist Charley Harper. Harper saw the world around him with empathy and whimsy, revealing it through geometric reduction and imagined similarities between human and wild animals. Each of the 30 paintings featured in Inspired by Nature: The Art and Activism of Charley Harper includes a short story written by Harper himself, demonstrating the whimsy with which he viewed the natural world and the seriousness of the environmental issues facing it. More than an art gallery, the exhibition challenges us to confront alarming issues threatening the Earth and its inhabitants, including global warming, water pollution and habitat destruction.

Inspired by Nature: The Art and Activism of Charley Harper is CMC’s way of honoring Harper, the 2020 John A. Ruthven Medal of Distinction recipient. The award is presented to those personally contributing to the fields of natural history and science and to CMC’s collection and research programs. Like the beauty of nature, Harper’s artwork is all around us – on buildings, mugs, tote bags, postcards and countless home and office walls – and his message is as important as ever today. The award announcement was fittingly made on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

OMNIMAX® Theater reopens with limited seating capacity

The Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater will also reopen July 17. Guests can em-bark on a tail-wagging journey around the world alongside a new breed of superhero in Superpower Dogs or relive humanity’s greatest achievement in stunning detail through never-before-seen footage in Apollo 11: First Steps Edition. Theater capacity has been reduced to 60 per show, roughly 25% of its capacity. Extra time between shows will allow staff time to thoroughly clean between seatings. Daily showtimes are 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Interactive experiences go touchless

CMC has worked to make the museum more interactive in recent years and is taking steps to modify these interactives for guest safety in light of COVID-19. Working with Digimarc Corporation, CMC has digitized over 25 interactive experiences to make them touchless, bringing them directly to your phone. CMC In-Hand Interactives, powered by Digimarc, puts the same museum touchscreen experience on your phone, giving guests the same dynamic museum experience in a safer delivery vehicle. Using the Digimarc app (free to download), guests simply point it at the exhibit sign and enjoy the interactive on their phone. Some interactives include sound, so we recommend bringing your headphones or ear buds. For example, the audio guide for Maya: The Exhibition is also available via the Digimarc app for those exploring the featured exhibition.

Safety protocols

Among the steps CMC is taking to keep our guests and staff safe is instituting timed tickets for general admission, Maya: The Exhibition and the OMNIMAX® Theater. Both Members and guests will need timed tickets for entry. The timed tickets will help manage the number of people in each museum, ensuring proper social distancing of six feet or more. Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance to ensure they can enter at their preferred time. Floor markings and signage throughout the museum will help guests visualize six feet between them and others and will direct traffic flow in one direction to avoid bottlenecks.

All CMC staff and volunteers will be wearing face masks upon reopening and we are asking guests to please do the same as research continues to show masks are critical in slowing the spread of COVID-19. CMC will have themed masks available for purchase in its retail shop.

Extensive cleaning protocols will ensure the building is clean and sanitized multiple times per day, including particular attention to high touchpoint areas like doors, elevators, handrails, countertops and restrooms.

“We are doing our part to create a safe, clean environment for our staff and guests and we’re asking everyone to please experience our museum responsibly,” said Elizabeth Pierce, president and CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “The community makes our museum and we need our community to help ensure it remains a safe space for everyone.”

Duke Energy Children’s Museum remains closed

Due to the high-touch nature of some areas, certain exhibits will remain closed. Among those areas that will remain closed are The Cave and Science Interactives Gallery in the Museum of Natural History & Science and the entire Duke Energy Children’s Museum. CMC leadership is continuing to monitor COVID-19 developments and the recommendations of health officials as we determine an appropriate reopening date for these areas.

CMC will reopen to the public on July 17 but advanced tickets are on sale now. For ticketing information and more details on enhanced safety protocols, visit


About Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized institution and national historic landmark. Dedicated to sparking community dialogue, insight and inspiration, CMC was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2012. CMC is one of a select few museums in the nation with both of these honors, making it a unique asset and a vital community resource. Union Terminal has been voted the nation's 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects. Organizations within CMC include the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children's Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater and Cincinnati History Library & Archives. Recognized by Forbes Traveler Magazine as the 17th most visited museum in the country, CMC welcomes more than 1.8 million visits annually. For more information, visit

About Digimarc
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