History Coming To Life In Cincinnati

March 9, 2016

Look Here! is a compelling history exhibition transforming the public realm into a temporary museum using historic photographs of Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.

Anne Delano Steinert loves her neighborhood enough to make people want to care about preserving it. She created Look Here!, an outdoor public history exhibition, to inspire others to have conversations about the historical significance of their neighborhood as well as preserve the physical attributes that makes the neighborhood a special place.  

The structure of the project is quite simple; historical images of Cincinnati’s Over-The-Rhine neighborhood are mounted on existing street sign poles in exactly the same position in which they were taken. The result is a unique before-and-after perspective of a place that produces an interactive, analog experience in an increasingly digital world.

Photo Credit: Look Here!

Although it is relatively easy for people to find pictures online in a quest to appreciate how the historical context of a place has evolved over time, one would generally need sufficient motivation to spend hours in front of a computer researching various databases to access a comprehensive catalogue of images. By eliminating these technological barriers, Look Here! provides an instantaneous and impulsive excuse for a person walking down the street to pause from their daily life and consider the importance of historical preservation.

Photo Credit: Look Here!

These pseudo-wayfaring signs offer no explanation as to the historical significance of the image, and that’s by design. Steiner explains, “I chose to post only historic photographs without any informational text. This exhibit relies on you to read photographs, ask questions and make meaning for yourself. It is my hope that the questions you generate from exploring these photographs will lead you to additional exploration and research into the rich history of our Queen City,”

Photo Credit: Look Here!

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