arts

Photo as Fact?

Living through the COVID-19 pandemic will become another watershed moment in our lives, and we will be asking “Where were you when…” for years to come. I remember what I was doing when the planes hit the twin towers on 9/11, but the event that rocked my world was the assassination of JFK. I might …

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The Curtain Rises on a New Reality

The music of Chopin isn’t soaring through Heinz Hall. “Jersey Boys” won’t dance in sync on the Benedum stage. And a mid-June Friday night at Point State Park won’t be packed with concert-goers in lawn chairs. Instead, the Pittsburgh region’s arts and cultural organizations—which employ 15,000 and add roughly $1 billion in direct spending into …

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Restarting Pittsburgh’s Arts Economy

In late summer of 1606, one of the liveliest theatre seasons London, England, had known was abruptly shut down by the sudden onset of bubonic plague. When public entertainments were allowed to resume almost two years later in April 1608, several drama companies that had flourished pre-plague were nowhere to be found. William Shakespeare’s company, …

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No Contest

Pittsburgh’s arts and culture sector outperforms many of its peer cities when it comes to arts participation, organizations per capita and economic impact, but equity issues persist, according to a new from the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. Attendance of arts and culture events dwarfs that generated by the region’s professional sports teams combined—Steelers included. “It’s …

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Photographer George Lange Debuts Personal Collection

World-renowned, Pittsburgh-native photographer George Lange debuts new prints and stories from his private collection on Thursday, November 14 at Weisshouse (324 S. Highland Ave.). Photographing for publications and clients world-wide left Lange with little time to examine his work, and few prints were made. Having recently returned to Pittsburgh, Lange opened his collection of photographs—kept …

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Still Squonky After All These Years

Leave your preconceived notion of an opera in the car. Whatever Squonk Opera is, it certainly isn’t what you’re thinking. A description that succinctly encapsulates this Pittsburgh native is futile. Not quite a rock band, anything but an opera. So, what then? Squonk’s strength lies in its innate pliability. Each show is built atop a …

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Exploring Andy Warhol’s Ancestral Home

Andy Warhol once said that he came “from nowhere.” And if ever you find yourself exploring the Lower Beskid mountains along the Polish-Slovak border, you might think he was right. At first glance, it appears there are no signs human beings were ever there. But if you look closer, you’ll realize that the holes and …

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Internationals I Have Known…

When the Carnegie International opens this fall, it may appear as if the world’s latest art elegantly touches down like an ethereal being whose time to visit us has come ‘round again. But if you knew it as I do, you would know that this periodic being is full of, shall we say, blemishes and …

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Different Takes on Homelessness

Given the unprecedented recent spate of destructive hurricanes, Contemporary Craft’s exploration of homelessness couldn’t be more timely. Running through Feb. 17, “Shelter: Creating a Safe Home” is a cross-cultural exploration of the work of 14 artists on homelessness, refugees and relocation, gentrification, and individual sanctuary. “We want people to be more aware of these issues …

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A Bold Look at Race Through Art at the Carnegie Museum of Art

When Vogue lauded “20 / 20: The Studio Museum of Harlem and Carnegie Museum of Art” as the most important art show in America, they guaranteed a critical response. Setting aside the hyperbole, the magazine established race as the context for viewing and thinking about the exhibition, stating that “as monuments to Confederate generals come …

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The Frick Pittsburgh Opens “Undressed” with Gala

The Frick Pittsburgh marked the opening of “Undressed: A History of Fashion in Underwear” with a gala held on the evening of October 19. The sold-out “Undressed” gala provided four hundred guests the opportunity to experience the blockbuster exhibition before it opened to the public on Saturday, October 21. Gala co-chairs were Ina Gumberg, Peggy …

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From Pittsburgh to Venice, Through the Looking Glass

Maybe my 6th or 7th Biennale. I can’t remember anymore. The art, the parties, the timeless beauty of this most impractical, magical city blurs my vision, my memories. The Bellini, the Prosecco, the Aperto spritzes, the Veneto wines, the dinners and endless exotic hors d’oeuvres, the European glitterati and the Who’s Who of the current …

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Phipps Celebrates Super. Natural. Exhibit with Opening Night Party

Behind the scenes technicalities of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens’ latest exhibit, Super. Natural. involved 500 pieces of hand-blown glass that had been meticulously packed into 122 boxes for a cross-country trip from Seattle to Pittsburgh on a 52-foot-long tractor trailer. Once here, it took a core of volunteers and staff three weeks to install …

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Warhol Brings Báez’s Powerful “Bloodlines” to Pittsburgh

The Andy Warhol Museum’s first two exhibitions of the year are a great pairing. Jessica Beck’s excellent My Perfect Body brought together work from Warhol’s entire career that focused on body issues, from the nose picking and acne of his youth to the scars from being shot in 1968 to images of bodybuilders and Christ. …

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Renowned Poet and Artist Comes to the Maridon

On Saturday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. the Maridon Museum will hold a gala opening of its exhibit and art sale “A Cosmic Contemporary Collaboration.” The exhibit, which runs April 8 through June 3, will feature paintings and a performance by internationally recognized poet Huang Xiang, one of China’s greatest 20th century, post-cultural revolution …

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The new Westmoreland

Early in October, looking out over the view of Greensburg from the newly reconfigured Westmoreland Museum of American Art, someone remarked that a building’s foundations had been discovered recently in the old parking garage, which is being turned into a garden. In England, such work recently turned up the body of King Richard III, slain …

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The New Sound

Steve Hackman, 35, is an emerging phenomenon in the world of music, fusing classical and popular pieces. Hackman is creating and conducting his hybrid concerts with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Jan. 27 and March 9. A native of suburban Chicago, he has an undergraduate degree in piano performance from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and …

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The Arts Engine

On a cold spring night in April, arts traffic streamed along Penn Avenue in several frenetic directions. Downtown, patrons for the PSO’s performance of Bach’s beloved Brandenburg Concertos poured out of restaurants toward Heinz Hall, dodging ticket-holders for the sold-out “Book of Mormon” at the Benedum Center. Four miles miles east, the cheap end of …

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Cure Alzheimer’s Fund & Our State Leaders

Long involved in charitable giving, East End residents Jacqui and Jeff Morby wanted to do more. They wanted to affect the lives of others for the better. So five years ago, they created the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. It’s estimated that Alzheimer’s care currently costs about $120 billion a year, or some 15 percent of the …

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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 life and considerable fortune amassing …

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A Frame to Conjure With

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. It was one of the …

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Jeanne Pearlman, Philanthropy Executive

I was raised in Squirrel Hill. It was a close-knit community that valued ideas and intellectual activities. For my parents, dinnertime was not only about eating. It was also about talking, thinking and challenging. Any opinion expressed had to be countered with another opinion. My father would always ask, “Why do you think that?” This …

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