Cincinnati Museum Center is taking off their white artifact-handling gloves and picking up the silver tumbler in their after-hours series: Cocktails With Curators. Throughout the year, the museum will showcase their knowledgeable curators and allow guests to speak one-on-one with them about their favorite exhibits. Typically, curators aren't accessible for the general public, as they're busy working behind the scenes planning the next great exhibit to be featured at the museum. Cocktails With Curators brings the experts, and all their fascinating stories together with guests in a relaxed happy hour setting.

We attended a session with Scott Gampfer, Director of the Cincinnati History Library, held inside the Cincinnati History Museum. Guests were welcomed with light hors d'oeuvres, a selections of wine, beer and cocktails including the specialty drink of the evening, a lemon drop martini.

Later, Gampfer gave our group a personal tour of the Museum Center's newest exhibit: Treasures in Black & White, a gallery of historic photographs of Cincinnati spanning over the last 100 years. Handpicked from over 800,000 images in the collection, Treasures features 65 rare depictions of the Queen City. From Babe Ruth's visit during the 1947 All Star Game to architecture, Ruth Lyons, 1884 Courthouse Riots, World War I, streetcars, and chilling images from the 1937 flood, the selection tells the heartfelt story of Cincinnati's good times and bad.

When asked about his favorite picture, it was difficult for our curator to choose just one. Like most images, a select few resonate personally. For Gampfer, it was the telephone ladies that brought back memories of his grandmother: a line of women employed to connect calls on the switchboard for Cincinnati Bell.


Whether you can recall the stories first hand or have heard the legends passed down through generations, Treasures in Black & White is guaranteed hit home visually. Be sure to check out the exhibit as well as future Cocktails With Curators events, featuring paleontologist Brenda Hunda and the exhibit Cincinnati Under The Sea, or explore more Cincinnati history with collections curator David Conzett.