The Carnegie Museum of Art in in Pittsburgh is considered to be the finest contemporary art museum in the United States. The museum has collected works of the "Old Masters of tomorrow" ever since 1896 with the creation of the Carnegie International.

The permanent collection of the museum consists of over 30,000 objects in an array of different media, such as paintings, sculptures, photographs, prints and drawings; architectural casts, models, and renderings; video, film, and digital imagery; and decorative arts and design. The Carnegie Museum of Art also contains the Teenie Harris Archive, a collection of almost 75,000 negatives of photographs taken by Charles "Teenie" Harris.

1.The Heinz Architectural Center

The Heinz Architectural Center  

Established in 1990, the Heinz Architectural Center seeks to create a better understanding and greater appreciation for architecture and the built environment. The center, created with a donation from Mrs. Henry J. Heinz II, puts on exhibitions, lectures, and symposia. It holds three exhibitions every year, as well plays host to architecture camps in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University's School of Architecture during the summer.

The collection, ranging from the 18th century to the present, features close to 6,000 models, drawings, photographs, games, artifacts, and the third largest plaster architectural cast collection in the world. These works showcase various works in architecture, engineering, furniture and interior design, and landscape design. The Heinz Architectural Center also possesses a library containing thousands of books, journals, and several additional printed materials.

Ailsa Mellon Bruce Galleries

Renovated and reopened in 2009, the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Galleries showcase almost 500 various objects from the Carnegie Museum of Art's decorative arts and design permanent collection. The galleries demonstrate the progression of design and style in the Western part of the world from the middle of the 18th century to the present. The changing scene in Pennsylvania, as well as the greater Ohio River valley, of decorative arts creates a thread connecting the numerous pieces of the exhibit. There are also several interactive stations found throughout these galleries.

The gallery showcasing the 18th century contrasts the Rococo style of natural curves and the late Baroque style with Neoclassicism's geometric patterning and symmetry. The gallery of the 19th century demonstrates historic styles and the advent of the Art Nouveau movement. These are emphasized through the art museum's collection of stylistically innovative objects showcased at international exhibitions and world fairs.

The Ailsa Mellon Bruce Galleries feature an array of furniture, including American gilded and painted parlor furniture brought to the museum from PicNic, a Greek revival mansion from the 1830s in the city. Close to 3,000 objects were added to the museum's collection form the personal collection of Ailsa Mellon Bruce, the daughter of Andrew W. Mellon. The gallery also features work from the Art Deco movement as well as the mid-20th century Modernism, and the museum's ever increasing contemporary craft and design collection.

Forum Gallery

The Forum Gallery, located in the main lobby, is used most often to showcase the contemporary art exhibitions of the Forum Series. This series started in 1990 and presents curators with the chance to respond promptly to the changes in contemporary art, and to be adjustable with presentations of exhibitions. There have been at least 70 Forum series exhibitions that have featured contemporary artists, such as Kiki Smith, Jeff Wall, Yasumasa Morimura, Cory Arcangel, Ann Hamilton, Rivane Neuenschwander, and Ragnar Kjartansson.

Grand Staircase

The high climbing, three story Grand Staircase is the focal point of the 1907 addition to the original building of the Carnegie Institute. Covering nearly 4.000 square feet of the walls within the Grand Staircase is John White Alexander's "The Crowning of Labor." The painting illustrates turn-of-the-century ideas of progress achieved through industrial power and hard work. Unfortunately, John White Alexander passed away before the third floor panels could be completed.

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2.Gallery One

Gallery One  

Gallery One, previously named the Works on Paper Gallery, is primarily a changing space for temporary exhibits of a smaller scale. The gallery itself is situated in the Scaife Galleries, and puts on around three exhibitions each year. Several of the pieces in these exhibitions are taken from the Carnegie Museum of Art's vast collection of photography, drawings, and prints.

Hall of Sculpture

Influenced by Athens' Parthenon, the Hall of Sculpture's design resembled that of the famous temple's inner sanctuary, or cella. The Hall of Sculpture was formerly home to the Canegie Museum of Art's collection of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Near Eastern sculpture reproductions. The hall now contains some of the museum's collection of casts, including many noteworthy works from the Parthenon. Much of the Hall of Sculpture was built with vivid white marble that originates from the quarries in which the stone to build the Parthenon was taken from long ago. The hall's balcony displays works of decorative art, mostly consisting of ceramics, metalwork, and glass that possibly is from the 18th century to the 20th century. Located precisely beneath the hall's skylight is a reproduction of the carved frieze originally situated on the exterior of the Parthenon's inner sanctuary made from plaster.

Hall of Architecture

The Hall of Architecture contains the largest collection of architectural casts in the United States. There are only two other museums that possess a collection to rival the Carnegie Museum of Art: the Musee National de Monuments Francais in Paris and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The museum's collection consists of more than 140 plaster casts of historical architectural masterpieces. A few highlights of the collection are the Venus de Milo, Nike of Samothrace, and Apollo Belvedere. The museum's collection by the year 1907 included 144 architectural casts, 360 replicas in bronze, and 69 plaster sculpture reproductions. The hall itself is modeled after the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, and provides a chance for visitors to enjoy a cultural, artistic phenomenon of international scope. The Hall of Architecture also features Romanesque works, such as the St.-Gilles-du-Gard fa├žade, as well as Gothic pieces like the doors of the Florence Baptistry.

Scaife Galleries

Designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes in 1974, the Scaife Galleries feature white walls and floors to create a lightbox effect and a place for visitors to quietly contemplate the artwork. A maximum amount of reflected light appears throughout the gallery. The Scaife Galleries showcase significant additions from previous Carnegie International exhibitions. There are also a handful of interactive activities.

The Charity Randall Gallery

The Charity Randall Gallery is found just off of the Hall of Sculpture's balcony. The gallery showcases and interprets Contemporary and Modernist craft and design, and has previously been called the Treasure Room as well as the Balcony Gallery. After being renovated in 2011, the following initial exhibition was the Hand Made: Contemporary Craft in Ceramic, Glass, and Wood exhibit. The exhibition included 65 masterpiece works from the last 70 years' three most symbolic studio craft movements.

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3.Heinz Galleries

Heinz Galleries  

The Heinz Galleries is typically used to display changing temporary exhibits, usually three to five each year. The galleries were introduced in 1975 and were designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes who hoped to create a place for "quiet contemplation." The Carnegie International exhibitions are primarily showcased in the Heinz Galleries. A couple recently displayed exhibits include Teenie Harris, Photographer: An American Story and Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World's Fairs, 1851-1939.

Fine Arts Collection

The Carnegie Museum of Art's fine arts collection consists of a variety European and American art from the time period of 1860 to 1920, including classic American watercolors. The collection also includes 19th and 20th century Japanese prints. The museum also possess Old Master prints from artists such as Albrecht Durer to James Abbott McNeill Whistler. In addition to prints and other artwork, the fine arts collection contains sculptures and paintings that are displayed in 12 galleries within the Scaife wing of the museum, as well as works on paper that are exhibited each year in three rotations.

Decorative Arts and Design Collection

The museum's collection of decorative arts and design contains various works from around the world, such as China, 21st century America, and ancient Rome. There is a focus, however, on ceramics, furniture, glass, metals, and textiles made within the last three centuries from the Western world. Several art pieces feature materials, such as aluminum and glass, that are heavily associated with western Pennsylvania. The collection also contains European ceramics and furniture from the 18th century. Art pieces from the 19th century include works put on exhibit at international expositions, such as art from the revival style of the century, exoticism, and work that is the result of new technologies. American and European Modernism are reflected in the pieces from the 20th and 21st century. There are also important American works in wood, glass, and ceramic, in addition to artwork created in Pennsylvania.

Photography Collection

Over 4,500 photographs make up the Carnegie Museum of Art's photography collection. The majority of these photographs are representative of Pittsburgh before 1960. Some of the artists included in this collection are Elliott Erwitt, Julia Margaret Cameron, Lewis W. Hine, Barbara Morgan, Russell Lee, Edward Weston, Alfred Stieglitz, W. Eugene Smith, and Duane Michals. Know for his photo essays in Life magazine, W. Eugene Smith has more than 500 photographs from Pittsburgh in the 1950's at the museum.

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4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, Phone: 412-622-3131

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Things to Do in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Carnegie Museum of Art