CULTURE

Arts Aligned

They’re situated on either side of Forbes Avenue in Oakland, almost appreciatively staring at each other in a figurative manner: A world-​class university and a world-​class art collection.

Home Library Group

by PQ Staff
Coke oven smokestacks loom as members of a boys’ reading club pose in an what is likely a factory slum along the Monongahela where workers lived to be near their jobs at the Jones & Laughlin Steel Mill in Hazelwood.

An outside view

“Embedded” is a strange word, which we have come to recognize nowadays as the term used for journalists and photographers permitted to report in war zones under military protection and some limitation. That was the experience of British photographer Mark Neville working in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan in 2011

Heinz, 1903

by PQ Staff
The H.J. Heinz company was founded in 1888, and by the turn of the century had a vast processing plant on Pittsburgh’s North Side.

Timeless & Unremembered

by John Allison
Gladys Schmitt is a wonderful Pittsburgh writer you have probably not read. If so, the time has come for that to change.

A New Philanthropic Direction

Since the Buhl Foundation began in 1927, Pittsburgh’s philanthropic landscape has changed dramatically, with the creation of the Richard King Mellon Foundation, Heinz Endowments, Hillman Foundation, The Pittsburgh Foundation, Grable Foundation, Colcom Foundation, Benedum Foundation and McCune Foundation, among many others. This rich collection of foundation partners has embroidered the…

The Fading Light

by John Allison
Stewart O’Nan’s novel “West of Sunset,” based on the final tragic years of F. Scott Fitzgerald in Hollywood, took some nerve to write. Would you like to get into the ring with one of the greatest figures in American literature and try to describe what’s going on in his alcoholic…

From melons to motorists

Why exactly does motor square Garden have a dome? The Renaissance-​style cap in oxidized copper and glass sits confidently on a low-​rise multiple gable structure in buff brick that is more ancient Roman. Pittsburgh Press writer George Swetnam once called the combination “odd but charming.” The building definitely holds its…

Richard Mellon Scaife

When Dick Scaife died last summer, there surfaced a rash of brief memoirs of a man most often described as “reclusive,” and, more ambivalently, “mercurial.” Before then, he had been shielded from close scrutiny by the code of Omertà, a protective silence, at least by his friends and close associates.…

The road back

by John Allison
Jennifer Matesa, a writer living in Friendship, was a well-​dressed, middle-​class junkie. She didn’t score from shady dealers in back alleys, though. Her supplier was the pharmaceutical industry. Starting about 10 years ago, this self-​described “white soccer mom” got hooked on pain-​killers after seeking legitimate treatment for chronic pain. Vulnerable…

Robert Qualters: When Retrospection Gets Personal

As we get older, as age begins to play tricks with our memories, as our surroundings change and the immediately familiar becomes obliterated, we come to rely on simple strategies like keeping a photograph album or simply hanging on to significant things.

A lens on life

1. An old woman is seated in an upright armchair in a sparely furnished room.

Apocalypse Pittsburgh

by John Allison
Pittsburghers have long boasted that, in the heat of the Cold War, our role as an industrial power made us the Russians’ No. 1 nuclear target. It was a counterweight to our role as a national punchline for being a sooty dump.

Fall rising

An epiphany moment comes when a person bakes bread, waiting forever for its puffy belly to inch up above the bowl. Waiting and waiting until the time comes when it has doubled itself and the baker takes a light fist to its risen center, pushes, and the bread exhales all…

The Enduring Dollar

They don’t call it the lion’s share for nothing. Those sculpted felines at Dollar Bank’s Fourth Avenue building have grabbed the limelight. A crowd attended their unveiling last year, with substantial press coverage, because master carver Nicholas Fairplay had both restored the original lions, which were placed inside the Dollar…
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