Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh)
Among the best art museums in America, the Carnegie Museum contains one of the finest collections of modern art in America. Distinguished nationally and internationally, it's founder Andrew Carnegie envisioned a museum that would collect the 'Old Masters of tomorrow'. In the late 19th century he set about buying works by American artists Whistler (1834-1903) and Winslow Homer (1836-1910), as well as French Impressionists Edouard Manet (1832-83), Renoir (18411919) and Pissarro (1830-1903). Today the museum houses an array of contemporary art, including video and film works, as well as decorative art, and fine art dating back to the 16th century. The museum is also home to the Heinz Architectural Center which is dedicated to the study and exhibition of architectural drawings and models. The Hall of Architecture contains the third largest collection of architectural casts in the world. The marble Hall of Sculpture was modelled on the interior of the Greek Parthenon from the 5th century and contains reproductions of Egyptian, Roman and Greek sculpture. The latest addition to the museum, the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Galleries, contains nearly 500 objects items of decorative arts and design. The museum regularly hosts popular exhibitions, public programs, tours, lectures and courses.
BEST EUROPEAN GALLERIES
|The Carnegie Museum of Art is one of
the world's best art museums.
In 1886 the industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) wrote, 'I am thinking of incorporating with the plan for a library that of an art-gallery in which shall be preserved a record of the progress and development of visual art in America'. Considered the second richest man in history (after John D Rockefeller), Carnegie established his gallery nine years later in 1895. It was initially housed in the Carnegie Libraries at Oakland but soon moved to its current location today on Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh. It received its first major expansion in 1907 with the addition of the Bruce Galleries, Hall of Sculpture and Hall of Architecture (also financed by Carnegie). Initially the museum focused on acquiring what were then contemporary 19th century paintings from American artists, French Impressionists and Post Impressionists. Over the last century it has extended its scope to including American and European decorative arts from the 17th century as well as Japanese prints, African art and contemporary works in film, photography and video. In 1974 the Sarah Mellon Scaife Gallery was opened, more than doubling the museum's exhibition space as well as adding a cafe, bookstore, theatre and children's studio.
Hall of Sculpture
The Hall of Sculpture was opened in 1907. It was designed to look like the 5th century Greek Parthenon and is dominated by a 40 foot status of the Goddess Athena. It was constructed with pure white marble extracted from the same quarries in Greece which provided the stone for the Parthenon. Today the gallery displays statues and reliefs from its permanent collection, and hosts regular exhibitions of Greek art and similar works. The balcony overlooking the Hall is reserved for decorative arts, principally metal works, stained glass and ceramics dating from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.
Ailsa Mellon Bruce Galleries
Originally constructed in 1907, the galleries are named after Ailsa Mellon Bruce, heiress to a business fortune and one of the great art collectors. Originally the galleries were constructed to house reproduction bronze casts from the ancient city of Pompeii, and later served as a temporary exhibition space. In 1976 the galleries became the museum's permanent home for it's collection of decorative arts and designs. Renovated in 2009, the galleries are primarily divided by century. The 18th century gallery contains interior pieces in the Rococo, late Baroque and Neoclassical styles. The 19th century gallery explores Art Nouveau and developments in the Crafts movement. The gallery also houses a complete suite of furniture from an 1830s Pittsburgh Greek revival mansion, displayed in a way to evoke its original setting and purpose. The gallery also displays examples from the Art Deco movement and more contemporary pieces.
Hall of Architecture
The Hall contains over 140 plaster casts of architectural historical masterpieces. This collection of architecture is only rivaled in size by the French National Museum of Monuments in Paris and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. It is unique in that it survives largely in tact since first collected in 1907. It is housed in the Architecture Hall which was inspired by the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the original Seven Wonders of the World.
Heinz Architectural Center
Opened in 1993, the Heinz Center focuses primarily on architectural drawings, models and prints from the 19th and 20th centuries. The center also has its own gallery for relevant exhibitions and houses a study room and office space.
The museum has over 75,000 objects of art
in its collection, the majority of which can be viewed online through
their website. The collection consists of painting,
sculpture, drawing, mixed media, photography
and decorative arts. Highlights of the museum's fine art paintings include:
The museum has refreshed its line up of works with additions from painters like the pioneer modernist Marsden Hartley, abstract expressionist Mark Rothko, and Jackson Pollock, inventor of action painting.
For more information about the world's greatest art galleries, see: Homepage.
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ART