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Harmon Museum & Art Gallery

Lebanon, Ohio 

Like music and chocolate, everyone likes art of some kind. Search the Internet for museums in any city or state and most likely you will get a list of art museums. Art is accessible. It does not require much study or facts or strong opinions. It can entertain or inspire, make us laugh or even make us cry. Since its founding in the spring of 1940, the Warren County Historical Society has been blessed with consistent donations of works of art. 

However, until recently, the art collection has taken a back seat to the historical and decorative arts collections. The Historical Society’s staff members are historians, and though they appreciated the art collection, their focus has been on the history of the community. Consequently, interest in the art collection was relegated mainly to the portraits of historic persons, but in 2015, two retired art teachers (and painters) and a college professor with a doctorate in Fine Arts teamed up with the Historical Society to inventory the art collection. They found the collection includes paintings, drawings and sculptures by such artists as Charles T. Weber; T.C. Lindsay; Marcus Mote; Eli Harvey; Vernon Jones; Alberta Kinsey; and Henry Mosler.

Once the new art curatorial staff presented their evaluation regarding the strength of the collection to the Historical Society’s Board of Trustees, a major shift in the mission of the Warren County Historical Society took place. The Warren County History Center changed its name to Harmon Museum & Art Gallery, two new art galleries replaced history exhibits, and the new art curatorial staff solicited living artists for donations of their works so that the collection could continue to grow.

The Harmon Museum is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday until 5 p.m. The Glendower Historic Mansion is also owned and operated by the Warren County Historical Society. Glendower is noted by architectural historians as one of the best examples of residential Greek revival architecture in the country. Built in 1845, the Mansion showcases furniture, paintings, textiles and decorative arts from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Glendower is open for guided tours June through August and weekends in December. Groups of 20 or more may tour the house with advance reservations. The Harmon Museum is handicapped accessible; however, the Glendower Historic Mansion is not. For group reservations contact Vicky at vtappy@wchsmuseum.org. For more information, phone (513) 932-1817 or visit wchsmuseum.org.