The Loeb Collection was a gift to the Library from Cincinnati native Eda Kuhn Loeb. Funds from Mrs. Loeb’s gift were used to purchase livres d’artiste—rare, signed, limited editions of books illustrated by late l9th and early 20th century artists. In 1958, Alice S. Plaut, the head of the Art & Music Department traveled to Europe to select materials for the collection. The results of Mrs. Plaut’s trip to London, Rome, Geneva, and Paris comprise the Loeb Collection. The collection prepared by Mrs. Plaut was first exhibited in the Library in 1958 in an exhibit entitled “Great Artists and the Book” and subsequently in 1997. The collection remains an important part of the Library’s—and Cincinnati’s—cultural heritage.
Notable titles in the collection include:
- Il Milione (Travels) by Massimo Campigli
- Illustrations for the Bible by Marc Chagall
- Candide by Antoni Clavé
- Don Quichotte de la Manche by Salvador Dali
- A Giverny, Chez Claude Monet by Marc Elder
- Noa Noa: Voyage de Tahiti by Paul Gauguin
- The Henry Goldman Collection by Henry Goldman
- The Kélékian Collection of Persian and Analogous Potteries, 1885-1910 by Dikran Kélékian
- The Paintings of D.H. Lawrence by D.H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
- Poème de l’Angle Droit: Lithographies Originales by Le Corbusier
- Cirque: Lithographies Originales by Fernand Léger
- Jazz by Henri Matisse
- Portraits by Henri Matisse
- Voyage a Venise by André Masson
- Dans l’atelier de Picasso by Picasso
- Le Corbeau = The Raven, poëme by Edgar Allan Poe
- Bonnard Lithographe by Claude Roger-Marx
- Le Piège de Méduse: Comédie lyrique en un Acte by Erik Satie
- Yvette Guilbert by Henre de Toulouse-Lautrec
The Loeb Collection is housed in the Main Library’s Cincinnati Room. If you’d like to browse through some of the treasures in the collection, just stop by the Cincinnati Room service desk—our staff will be happy to assist you!
About Eda Kuhn Loeb
During her lifetime, Mrs. Loeb exemplified the cultural standards of many leading families of the era. Born in Cincinnati in 1867, Mrs. Loeb was one of ten children of Samuel and Regina (Wise) Kuhn. Her father was head of the Cincinnati private banking firm, S. Kuhn and Sons, which merged with the Fifth Third National Bank in 1910. Eda Kuhn married Morris Loeb, a noted chemist and son of Solomon Loeb, one of the founders of a famous New York banking firm (Kuhn, Loeb), in 1895, and then moved to New York City. Mrs. Loeb died in New York City in 1951. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County was one of several charitable and educational institutions named in her will, receiving a bequest of $50,000 (the largest monetary gift in the Library’s history at that time). Other major beneficiaries of her estate included Harvard University, Hebrew Union College, and the May Institute of Jewish Hospital.