A Museum Guide to Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is a city rich in history and steeped in culture. It was once a booming steel town employing thousands of union workers in a time when the union was not very popular. Between the industry, labor, unions, and the mob a highly eclectic group of people inhabited Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh has a lot to share and they are willing to share it all with the world in their outstanding collaboration of over 20 museums and galleries. From the fantastic and unique art displays at the Andy Warhol museum to the zoological exhibits in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History or the historical artifacts in the Frick Historical Center, there is something for everyone in one of Pittsburgh’s fabulous museums or galleries.

Established by Andrew Carnegie, one of Pittsburgh’s most prominent early businessmen, to cultivate creativity and exploration in education, the Carnegie museums touch the lives of over 1.3 million people every year. There are four separate museums with the Carnegie name that provide not only permanent exhibits, but special events as well as an outreach program that takes certain exhibits into schools and educational centers nationwide.

The Carnegie Museum of Art saw some renovations finished in 2003 which gave room for almost 70 percent more artwork to be displayed and enjoyed. The Carnegie Science Center, where you can tour a WWII submarine, has science-happening-now on display. Kids young and old can learn without realizing it at the numerous hands-on exhibits throughout the museum.

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History has dinosaurs, polar bears, mummies, and more. If it from this earth in any way, you will see it depicted at one of the many exhibits here. The Warhol is a tribute and a memorial to one of Pittsburgh’s most famous artists. With over 12,000 of his works on display, it is the most inclusive single-artist museums in the world.

The Mattress Factory is one of the most unique museums in the world. A museum of contemporary art that you can really get into. The exhibits are room-sized displays called installations. Each year, artists come to Pittsburgh, live at the museum and create. The displays use various forms of media for the senses to absorb.

The Frick Art and Historical Center is an exceptional look into the lives and lifestyle of a rich and powerful family who helped to create and mold Pittsburgh in the 1800’s. Henry Clay Frick was an industrialist who assisted in building the steel industry, a millionaire by age 30, and he was an avid art collector. He passed the love and knowledge of art to his daughter, Helen Clay Frick, who added to the collection. Today their home, collections, and more are on display at The Frick.

The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is an adventure in hands-on learning. With young artists showing their talent in the art studio and future engineers learning what makes it work in the Garage/Workshop kids get a chance to test their ideas and skills in an engaging surrounding. The Attic is a great place to safely test reality and discover what you see is not always what is fact.

Pittsburgh has much to offer whether you are visiting or live there. There are many more great museums to explore and galleries to discover. Planes, trains, and automobiles; minerals, plants, and animals; industry, history, and mysteries of the universe all await you in the museums of Pittsburgh.