Tag: Carnegie Institute

  • The Noble Quartet—The Complete Group

    John Massey Rhind, Andrew Carnegie’s favorite sculptor, decorated the Carnegie Institute building with bronzes representing the Noble Quartet—science, art, music, and literature—to which the Institute was dedicated. At street level, each member of the quartet is represented by a portrait of one of its famous representatives. Above each statue, on the roof, is an allegorical group of female figures representing the abstract ideal. We have seen the pictures of the statues before, but since old Pa Pitt just recently took pictures of the allegorical groups, he thought it might be interesting to see everything together at once.




    Science group
    Science from a different angle




    Art group
    Art from a different angle




    Music group
    Detail of central figure


    Literature group
    Literature from a different angle
  • Elevator in the Grand Staircase, Carnegie Institute

    Elevator doors

    One of the exceptionally elegant elevators in the Grand Staircase of the Carnegie Museums in Oakland.

    Elevator interior
  • Free to the People for 125 Years

  • Grotesque Light Fixture, Carnegie Institute

    Grotesque light fixture

    All the details of the Carnegie Institute buildings (designed by Longfellow, Alden & Harlow) are worth observing. Here is a light fixture held up by a splendid grotesque arm.

  • The Noble Quartet Turns 125



    In honor of the 125th anniversary of the Carnegie Institute, the Noble Quartet—science, art, music, and literature, as represented by four of their most famous exponents—were gaily bedecked with floral wreaths. It’s a good look for them. The statues are by J. Massey Rhind, one of Andrew Carnegie’s favorite artists.







  • Bronze Doors on the Carnegie Institute Building

    It took tons of beautifully cast bronze to make the grand entrances on the original Carnegie Institute building, as opposed to the modern entrance in the Scaife Galleries addition, which takes a bunch of glass doors ordered from a catalogue.

  • The Noble Quartet

    Science, art, music, literature: these were Andrew Carnegie’s “Noble Quartet,” to which he dedicated his colossal gift to Pittsburgh, the Carnegie Institute. To represent these four disciplines, Carnegie’s favorite sculptor, J. Massey Rhind, gave us Galileo, Michelangelo, Bach, and Shakespeare.

    An interesting question: would we make the same choices today? Perhaps. But if we were to change the list, old Pa Pitt might suggest John Brashear, Andy Warhol, Earl Hines, and August Wilson. Not that he has any regional prejudices.

    Galileo dwarfs that little Atlas fellow.

    Michelangelo works on a model.

    Bach thinks musical thoughts.

    Shakespeare scans a huge folio for plot ideas to pillage.

  • Grand Staircase in the Carnegie

    The Grand Staircase is the heart of the old Carnegie Institute building, and no expense was spared in making it lavishly artistic. The murals are by John White Alexander, a Pittsburgh native who was in his day almost as well regarded as John Singer Sargent.

  • Free to the People

    The entrance to the main Carnegie Library in Oakland. This is a picture Father Pitt took a few years ago, but nothing important has changed. The building was designed by Longfellow, Alden & Harlow, Andrew Carnegie’s favorite architects; they, or Alden & Harlow without Longfellow, also designed many of the neighborhood branch libraries.