Spring Break in Cincinnati, Part I: Cincinnati Art Museum

Coming home can be a wonderful thing. One of the places that always speaks to my heart is the Cincinnati Art Museum. When I was a child, it seemed like a rather dark, forbidding place. I’m not sure why. Maybe because it looked to me like a forbidden castle of some sort. Confidentially, as a child, my first choice for a museum visit was the Museum of Natural History, with its enormous, stuffed polar bear. It’s hard for even Egyptian artifacts to compete with an actual polar bear. But it wasn’t long before my loyalties switched.

I first wrote about the museum on the blog back in 2011. It’s fun to look back at that piece and see things I saw on this trip.

This time I brought my fancy camera instead of just my cell phone, and took so many pictures that you may see a couple blogs’ worth in the future.

The current ticketed exhibition is Dressed to Kill: Japanese Arms and Armor. I did a lot of research on nineteenth century Japan for The Abandoned Heart, and my son loves all things Japanese, as well. This is about the seventh or eighth museum visit we’ve taken just to see Japanese antiquities.


(These guys look terrifyingly lifelike.)

(I found this one oddly appealing. Almost grandfatherly. 18th century. The mustaches went out of style because they samurai couldn’t look downward easily.)

(Check out the detail, even on the back. Though one would think you wouldn’t want a tassel for someone to grab onto.)

(Very early 17th century)

(I got as close as I could to this one. The shirt beneath is gorgeous–like damask. The photo doesn’t do it justice. I really wanted to touch it.)

(Isn’t this glorious? You can tell that every element tells a story. Behind him are banners from the Japanese Boys’ Day holiday. The mounted figure on the left is a legendary female fighter.)


(The tallest bow I’ve ever seen.)


(Beautiful. Deadly.)

(A nineteenth century sword cane. It looks oddly British–like something from Sherlock Holmes.)


(My favorite weapon in the exhibition: a knife and sheath disguised as decorative horse and rider ornament. Said to have been made for a woman.)


More, less terrifying photos, later…


March 13th words

Journal: 0 words

Long fiction: (edited 1.5 chapters)

Short fiction: 0 words

Non-fiction: 0 words

Blog: 389 words

Exercise: 20 minutes treadmill, 10 minutes free weights


2 thoughts on “Spring Break in Cincinnati, Part I: Cincinnati Art Museum”

  1. skyecaitlin says:

    Thank you for sharing these wonderful Japanese art pieces.

    1. Laura Benedict says:


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