Reiss Murals Rededicated Outside Convention Center

Oct 20, 2016

Nine murals created by art deco artist Winold Reiss have been installed and rededicated outside the Duke Energy Convention Center. The murals were first installed at Union Terminal in 1933 but moved to the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) in 1974. 

Mayor John Cranley says they became an important fixture at the airport.

"You knew you were home when you saw these murals."

The terminal housing the murals was scheduled for demolition so the murals were moved Downtown at a cost of about $750,000.

CVG helped pay part of the cost of moving and remounting them. The rest will be repaid to the city through the lodging tax.

The glass and tinted mortar mosaics feature scenes of Cincinnati's industrial history.

Cranley says the art is expensive and worth it.

"These murals and what they capture about this city as well as not just the greatest generation but the generation before the greatest generation that built up the industrial might of the United States… is a reminder of who our grandparents and great grandparents were."

Former Enquirer columnist Cliff Radel says they represent Cincinnati's work ethic.

"They celebrate real people doing real work. To me, these murals are fanfares for the common man, and they're works of art about the art of hard work."

The murals are behind protective glass and will be illuminated at night.

Mayor John Cranley says some people have asked why the murals were installed on the outside of the convention center.

"This is outdoor public art and will become part of a Downtown walking tour. And this is a part of Downtown that's worth seeing."

Cranley also says the murals are so heavy few walls can support them. Each mural is 20 by 20 feet, 8 inches thick, and weighs 8 tons.