Tag: Museums

  • Soldiers and Sailors Memorial, Oakland

    Soldiers and Sailors Memorial

    In 2000, a planting of deep burgundy celosia gave old Pa Pitt the opportunity to take this picture with his beloved Kodak Retinette.

  • Stephen Foster Memorial

    Stephen Foster Memorial

    One of the cluster of Gothic buildings by Charles Z. Klauder at the heart of the University of Pittsburgh, this looks like the baptistery for the Cathedral of Learning. It houses a museum of Stephen Foster, two theaters, and the Ethelbert Nevin Collection. There was a time when Ethelbert Nevin might have got a museum of his own, but he missed his chance, and now he is an appendix to Stephen Foster.

  • 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
  • The Noble Quartet Turns 125

    Galileo

    Galileo.

    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.

    Michelangelo

    Michelangelo.

    Bach

    Bach.

    Shakespeare

    Shakespeare.

  • Carnegie International Medal of Honor

    The first Carnegie International was held in 1896, and it immediately became one of the most important exhibitions of modern art in the world. Andrew Carnegie believed in encouraging artists by collecting the old masters of tomorrow, and many priceless works have been acquired for the Carnegie’s collection from International exhibitions.

    This Medal of Honor was designed for the Carnegie by Tiffany & Co. It was reproduced in the catalogue of the 1899 International, which is a beautiful publication from the golden age of American printing.

  • Butterflies in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History

    Thousands of drawers like these are in the Carnegie, one of the world’s top natural-history museums. Every once in a while the curators take out a few drawers from the bug collection and display them on the wall near the Grand Staircase.

  • 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.

  • The Andy Warhol Museum

    Pittsburghers who remember the days before we had the largest museum in the world dedicated to a single artist will remember this as the Volkwein’s building, which housed one of the largest music stores in North America. (Volkwein’s moved to the western suburbs, where the tradition of carrying more music than anyone else continues.) But it was built as a warehouse for the Frick & Lindsay Company, a purveyor of “industrial supplies.” If warehouses were commonly as splendid as this, there would be regularly scheduled tours of the warehouse district.

    No one knows who designed the original building, but in a Post-Gazette article from 1993 (when the building was under restoration), Walter Kidney suggests the William G. Wilkins Co. The details were originally in terra cotta, but the cornice had been entirely removed and other details were damaged. During the restoration, the cornice and some of the other decorations were reconstructed in glass-reinforced concrete from photographs, records, and imagination.

    The Frick of Frick & Lindsay was William Frick, a distant relative of the famous robber baron Henry Clay Frick.

    Camera: Konica-Minolta DiMAGE Z3. The picture of the whole building below is a composite from six photographs.

  • Frick Art Museum

    Until April 4, the Frick is hosting an exhibit called “Impressionist to Modernist: Masterworks of Early Photography.” The “early” part is debatable—the exhibit begins in the 1880s and concludes in the 1930s, by which time photography was already a century old. Father Pitt would call these works “middle” photography. There is no room for debate on the quality of the exhibit itself: all the artistic possibilities of photography as a medium are on display. It was enough to inspire old Pa Pitt to try some work in black and white, so here are some ducks:

    Camera: Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3.

    Well, it’s not Steichen, but Father Pitt liked the ripply reflections of cattail stalks.

  • Carnegie Science Center

    The Carnegie Science Center, seen from Allegheny Station.

    Camera: Kodak EasyShare Z1485 IS.