Arts

Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

There is life underground

On a recent Friday evening, the balcony in the South Side’s Rex Theater was at a near fever pitch. Amid a buzzing crowd, models were sipping cocktails and slipping into their custom-​made outfits while a new rock band, Magdalene, jammed on the stage below.
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

Quantum Theater

In an empty annex of the Strip District’s typically post-​industrial Gage Building, propped against a supporting beam on the hard factory floor, disparate objects sit like the sad leftovers from a garage sale. Karla Boos, founder and artistic director of Quantum Theatre, surveys the items with Jed Harris, veteran Pittsburgh…
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

Urban Tree Forge

Junior high woodworking class is as close as many of us have ever gotten to making something with our own hands. We developed a tactile awareness of the silky smoothness of well-​sanded wood and that need to run our fingers over the soft warmth of a finished piece of walnut.
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

Collected treasures

When Ailsa Mellon Bruce died in 1969, she left behind a collection of fine and decorative arts that was as extraordinary as it was extensive. The daughter of U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon and sister of the equally noted collector Paul Mellon, she had spent much of her…
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

A dance to remember

A series of events this fall observe the Holocaust by Reid Frazier /​/​Fall 2009 On September 12, 2001, Steven Mills, the artistic director of Ballet Austin, staggered into work with a cup of coffee in hand, and, like most of America, began talking about the national calamity he’d watched on…
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

Jazzy notes

On a painted mural behind the small stage of Pittsburgh’s newest jazz club, a singer in a dark red, strapless gown with a black bob hairdo sings to a sketched cityscape resembling Pittsburgh’s skyline at dusk. The real thing — Etta Cox — was there too, crooning standards “Teach Me Tonight” and “Misty” with…
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

Not-​to-​miss exhibits

Especially nowadays, you get a different kind of art in times of war, variously patriotic, indignant and escapist. When these elements exist together, they are best nurtured by the democratic postulate, which, in times of war, itself hangs only by the skin of its teeth.
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

Manfred Honeck

I came to Pittsburgh in 2006 originally just to be a guest conductor for the symphony orchestra. I didn’t know at the time that they were looking for a music director. I really had no idea about it.
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

Rich with art

In the centennial year of his birth, Paul Mellon has been universally celebrated. The Bank of New York Mellon’s corporate art collection was itself inspired by this great collector and is currently at The Carnegie. It is one of the few surviving, curated, corporate collections in the city.
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

Frame of mind

A few years ago, if you had the good fortune to work as a porter at one of the major auction houses in New York or London, you might have had the greater good fortune to be handed a picture frame, discarded by one of the purchasers of the painting.…
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

Rich Engler

by Jeff Sewald
I was born in New Kensington, Pa., and grew up in Creighton, across the river. My father was a glass worker at the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company. My mother worked for the county. I studied art education at Youngstown State, then at Carnegie Mellon.
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

Follow the trail

Collecting is an addictive passion. My wife and I collect architect-​designed chairs, carved and inlaid wood items, textiles, bakelite dress clips, pre-​Revolutionary maps of New England, miniature hats and, perhaps the strangest, glass swizzle sticks with a Pittsburgh provenance.
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

Nathan Davis

Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, are twin cities, with nightclubs and great musicians in both places. The only thing that separates the two cities is a bridge.
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

Outside in

by Graham Shearing
Pittsburgh has always left vivid impressions on the mind of the outsider. For some reason, however, visiting writers have been less kind to Pittsburgh than visiting artists.
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

Andy & Co

by Graham Shearing
Sometimes when trying to assess the importance of any one artist, I am reduced to playing the auction trick. What’s it worth? People who have pooh-​poohed Andy Warhol think twice when they hear one of his paintings sells for $14 million. It may be the wrong road to art appreciation,…
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