A Legacy of Love
As a young girl,
Evelyn Bitner Pearson often attended lectures with her father, Harry M.
Bitner, at Carnegie Museums. Now,
as a trustee of her father’s trust, Evelyn is carrying on his legacy of
love for the museums.
was a former managing editor of the Pittsburgh
Press and went on to be publisher of Hearst Corporation newspapers in
Pittsburgh and Detroit and general manager of Hearst newspapers in New
York. He also purchased several
radio and television stations throughout the country, which he sold to
Time, Inc. in 1958. The funds from
the sale of his media holdings were used to set up the H.M. Bitner
is one of four family members who serve as trustees of the H.M. Bitner
Charitable Trust. She says that
each family member adheres to the same adage when administering funds from
the trust: “We give where we
live.” Evelyn chooses to direct
funds annually to Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh’s general operating
fund—not only because of her father’s appreciation for the arts and
culture, but also because of her personal affection for the museums. She says, “I remember coming to the
museum when I was in the fourth grade at Linden School. It was 1920 and I was 10 years old. I fell in love with a French sedan chair
that was on display.” Her interest
in French culture blossomed, and she studied the French language in high
school and at the Pennsylvania College for Women (now Chatham College).
“Carnegie Museums is
beneficial for everybody. It’s
educational and exciting.”
addition to being a bona fide Francophile, Evelyn is an accomplished
writer. At age 89, she published a
biography of her family, titled Chronicle
of an American Family. She is
currently writing a mystery. “I had to be a good writer,” Evelyn
says. “My father wouldn’t have had
it any other way.”
is a long-time member of the museums, and still visits frequently. She enjoyed the 1999/2000 Carnegie International and the Museum of Art’s Light! exhibition. A resident of Oakland, she occasionally
stops in Carnegie Café for lunch.
She also has traveled with Carnegie Museums on excursions for
members to Washington, D.C., and New York City.
confident that her father would have approved of her using his trust to support
Carnegie Museums. “Carnegie Museums is beneficial for everybody,” Evelyn
says, “It’s educational and exciting.”
travelers with host Tom Sokolowski (bottom right)
Travel with Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
When you travel with Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, a
museum expert is your host. And,
for many members who travel with the museums, that’s the best part about
According to Janie Thompson, who traveled to New Zealand
last February on a trip hosted by Carnegie Science Center Director Seddon
Bennington, “With a museum director or curator, you get first-hand
knowledge about the things you are seeing.
Plus it’s fun to get to know them on a personal basis.” Of her trip to New Zealand with native New
Zealander Bennington, she said, “It was wonderful to see a country through
Janie, a trustee, and her husband, Harry Thompson II, a
Museum of Art docent, frequently travel with Carnegie Museums. They were among a group of nine who spent
17 days exploring the two main islands of New Zealand. Seddon wrote in an article about the
trip published in the April 29 edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “My training as a marine zoologist, as
well as my professional and personal interests in art history and
Polynesian anthropology, influenced the itinerary that I put together for
Carnegie Museums’ trip.”
Janie urges members who haven’t traveled with the
museums to consider a trip as a way to enhance their appreciation for the
museums that they love. “I think
members who go on the trips become more interested in the museums’
undertakings,” says Janie. “You
develop more of a sense of ‘ownership’ about them.”
For Robert Barker, who traveled with a group of nine
hosted by The Warhol Director Thomas Sokolowski to Southern Italy last
March, Tom was the main attraction. “Tom manages to communicate with each
traveler on his or her own level,” says Robert. “Plus, he has a great sense of humor.” Although Tom isn’t a native of Italy, he
lived in Rome for more than three years during the 1970s. “He knew all of
its back streets and private places,” says Robert.
Tom says, “My goal is for every traveler, regardless of
his or her previous travel experiences, to learn something new.”
There are, of course, many other benefits to traveling
with Carnegie Museums, including special access to private homes and rarely
seen treasures. Robert’s favorite
part of the trip to Southern Italy was an afternoon spent at a private
villa. “It was a real treat to sit in the family’s living room and look at
the contemporary family photographs on the tables.”
Robert, who is
single, says that members shouldn’t hesitate to take a trip with the
museums just because they don’t have a traveling companion. “As you would expect, the people who
travel with the museums are very sophisticated. I was never without invitations for dinner, cocktails, or
other social outings.”
For more information about traveling with Carnegie
Museums, please call 412.622.5774 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
<![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]>
Extended Summer Hours
Summertime is a
great time to enjoy the museums with our extended visitation hours through
Labor Day. Starting July 9,
Carnegie Museum of Art and Carnegie Museum of Natural History will be open
Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Through July, the Museum of Art will continue to be open until 9
p.m. on Thursdays. Carnegie Science
Center is open Sundays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays
from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. From August
4 to Labor Day, the Science Center’s new exhibition, UMPC SportsWorks, will be open Mondays through Thursdays from
12 to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 12 to 11 p.m., and Sundays from
12 to 6 p.m.
Summer Traveling Companion
Pack your membership card when traveling this summer and
enjoy great reciprocal privileges.
Membership cards with Carnegie Science Center privileges are honored
at more than 200 science centers in this country and abroad. Reciprocal members also enjoy free
admission to about 30 major art and natural history museums. To find out if there is a participating
museum or science center near your vacation destination, stop by a
membership desk on your next visit or call 412.622.3314.
Leadership Donors Honored at May Dinner
Leadership donors to Carnegie Museums’ 2001 Annual
Sustaining Fund were honored at a dinner held May 16 at Carnegie Music
Hall. Leadership donors are
individuals who contribute $1,895 and above, and corporations or
foundations who contribute $5,000 and above in annual unrestricted gifts.
than 200 guests enjoyed an evening that included cocktails, dinner, music,
and the chance to chat with Carnegie Museums’ president Ellsworth Brown and
members of the Board of Trustees, who were on hand to personally thank
these leading donors.
For More Information
The Development Office coordinates fund-raising and
membership activities for Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. Below is a helpful list of telephone
numbers to call.
Donor Information: 412.578.2472
Corporate Membership and Sponsorship: 412.622.5771
Carnegie Patrons Circle: 412.578.2472
Planned Giving Opportunities: 412.578.2478
Travel Program: 412.622.5774
For general information, please call 412.622.1995.