Visible Storage

Visible Storage, located in the Sigo Falk Collections Center on the History Center’s fourth floor, provides visitors with a behind-the-scenes look at the museum’s collection.

The space showcases an unprecedented snapshot of how the museum preserves Western Pennsylvania history for current and future generations, revealing more than 1,200 artifacts from the History Center’s vast collection of more than a million objects.

Artifacts ranging from George and Marguerite Westinghouse’s Tiffany china to John Cigna’s legendary Harley-Davidson motorcycle provide a sense of the huge variety found in the History Center’s collection.

Objects in Visible Storage are organized by type, including household appliances, silver, toys, glass, armaments, paintings, and much more.

In addition to the artifacts on display, visitors to Visible Storage will see museum professionals in action as they process new artifacts and prepare them for exhibit in the photography studio and mount-making workshop.

Visible Storage, which is part of the recently opened LEED Gold certified Museum Conservation Center, is accessed via a sky bridge across Mulberry Way from the Special Collections Gallery.

Support for Visible Storage was provided by The Falk Foundation and the Hillman Foundation.

Exhibit Must-Sees

  • A Westinghouse electric car from the 1960s, a 1939 Bantam Speedster, and a bumper car from White Swan Park;
  • More than a dozen Western Pennsylvania long rifles, along with Civil War swords, World War II pistols, and a Thompson machine gun used by the Pittsburgh Police;
  • A variety of vintage fashion items, including Civil War-era bonnets, ornate women’s footwear, and a 1920s flapper hat;
  • A special collection of a dozen Westinghouse appliances, including irons, washing machines, a refrigerator, and a stove;
  • Toys ranging from items from the Wolverine Toy Co. to Arnold Palmer’s teddy bear;
  • Presidential china and glass used by the Reagan, Clinton, and Bush administrations that was created by the Lenox Company; and
  • Paintings by noted regional artists, including A. H. Gorson, John Kane, Russell Smith, and Burton Morris.