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Martha Graham Inspires Modern Dance in Pittsburgh

  Detail, Martha Graham, by Paul Meltsner, oil on canvas, 1938. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. Inspiration takes many forms. American artist Paul Meltsner was fascinated by modern dancer and Allegheny City native Martha Graham. His oil portrait from 1938, currently on display in the Heinz History Center’s Smithsonian’s Portraits of Pittsburgh:…

A Life, in Art: Shelly Blumenfeld

  “Mother’s Day on Logan Street,” by Rochelle Blumenfeld. Courtesy of Rochelle Blumenfeld. “Mother’s Day on Logan Street” tells three Pittsburgh stories. The first is the story of a childhood in the Lower Hill District. The second is the story of an artistic apprenticeship in a distinctly Jewish setting. The third is the story of…

Pop Positive: The Art of Burton Morris

  Burton Morris in cast, age 3, 1967. Burton Morris Collection. Pittsburgh born and trained artist Burton Morris makes the ordinary extraordinary, animating everyday objects to create symbolic statements about popular culture and our times. For almost three decades, Morris has invited us to see the world in a new way – painting with a…

Artist Robert Griffing

  Robert Griffing with new painting, “Respect for the Ancients.” Photo by Kathleen Lugarich. While exploring the Fort Pitt Museum, many visitors instantly recognize the artwork of Robert Griffing. Utilized for exhibit murals, videos, brochures, and souvenir postcards, Griffing’s art in the museum accomplishes his goals of inspiring and engaging others in 18th-century frontier history.…

Can You Name Five Women Artists?

  Since 2016, the National Museum of Women in the Arts has celebrated Women’s History Month with a social media campaign raising awareness of the lives of women artists. The campaign – #5WomenArtists – challenges institutions and individuals to spotlight the stories of women artists by posting about works and people in their collections. The…

The Real Rosie the Riveter

  The classic Rosie the Riveter poster created for Westinghouse by Pittsburgh artist J. Howard Miller. In late 1942, a Pittsburgh freelance artist named J. Howard Miller painted a poster for Westinghouse Electric, his biggest client. All told, Miller designed 42 posters that would be hung on nearly 2,000 bulletin boards and factory walls across…

Happy Birthday, Nat Youngblood!

An example of one of the Nat Youngblood’s early Roto Magazine covers. The winter scene was printed on Jan. 21, 1951. After a heavy snowfall, skiers are setting out in packed cars and on foot, “Heading For The Slopes,” as the caption reads. Photographed at the Maser Galleries, Pittsburgh, Pa. Pittsburgh artist and illustrator Nat…

Freedom and Coal Towns: A Portrait

Wandering the aisles of the Visible Storage exhibition at the Heinz History Center, a visitor can catch a glimpse into an almost-forgotten period of coal mining culture. In the back of the gallery on the fourth floor hangs a painting by John Michael O’Cilka titled “Coal Police.” This simple name belies the complex stage of…

A Short History of Five Paintings: The Forbes Expedition by Nat Youngblood

Visit the Fort Pitt Museum’s Nat Youngblood’s Pittsburgh exhibit, which explores the life and legacy of this prolific 20th century Pittsburgh artist. In addition to maps, scale models, life-like museum figures, and artifacts such as tools and weapons, artwork at the Fort Pitt Museum helps tell the story of Fort Pitt and the Point in…