Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh





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Pittsburgh's Community Voices             

A diverse group of individuals, community members, and leaders of organizations are part of the museum’s Without Sanctuary Community Advisory Committee.  Established earlier this year to assist the museum in its presentation of this exhibition and related programming, the committee will explore the issues of the exhibition in a wider context, and in ways which can make a meaningful contribution to the dialogue on race relations in Pittsburgh.  Here are some of the committee members' thoughts on the exhibition and its presentation in Pittsburgh at the museum:


I have seen pictures of lynchings before, but what is profoundly disturbing about these images is that they are in postcard form, as if they were entertainment or advertisements that would be sent to friends and family. What is also so tragic is that these cards were not from the South alone but from mid-western and other states, and some are recent. Some of these lynchings happened during the 1930s and even later, during the lifetime of many of us and our parents. They are a warning of the extremes, even the depravity that can occur in any society…let us be mindful of our actions today!


--Esther L. Bush

President and CEO

The Urban League of Pittsburgh


I firmly believe that the arts and arts organizations - both visual and performing - can and should challenge their audiences. And from these experiences, hopefully, we learn and grow. Without Sanctuary promises to do just that – challenge its viewers. These photographs are disturbing, even jarring, but this is an extremely important exhibit. It reminds us of some of the darkest moments in our nation’s history and helps us keep current events in perspective.


--Pam Golden, Director of Community Affairs The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust


The most pressing issue facing American cities in general, and Pittsburgh in particular, is racial division.  Recent local and national episodes point out that the reality underneath the facade of "getting along" is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.  The answer is reconciliation.  This begins with facing the truth, owning responsibility, seeking forgiveness, and restoring friendship.  The Without Sanctuary exhibition helps us to face the truth.  And it hurts.  May God cause the process to lead to restored friendship.


--Saleem Ghubril, Executive Director

 The Pittsburgh Project



Exhibits such as Without Sanctuary afford everyday people the opportunity to discuss a highly charged topic such as race in a safe and non-threatening atmosphere.  It takes the individual out of their comfort zone but without blame.  It promotes thoughtful and sometimes painful discernment about how the present and the future are extensions of the past.  In sincerely acknowledging the horrors of past injustices, we are open to the reality of making the practice of America match the creed of America.


--Betty Pickett, Executive Director (Western Pennsylvania)  National Conference for Community and Justice


This exhibit forces us to acknowledge the brutal consequences of hatred and ignorance. We cannot relegate this exhibit to the mere historical, but look at it and understand it  from the contextual perspective of today. Then, we must ask ourselves and each other “what can we do to end this?”  To that question we must respond, as individuals and as a community.


--Emily Aubele, Assistant Director,

Residence Life, University of Pittsburgh


The YWCA Center for Race Relations is committed to the elimination of racism through systemic change. Partnering with The Andy Warhol Museum to prepare and educate the community about racism, as manifested in the images of Without Sanctuary, is a challenging opportunity. In collaboration with the Warhol, we hope to help adults and youth unlearn the misinformation and untruths that history so often reinforces.

--Diane Hernon Chavis, Director

YWCA Center for Race Relations and Anti-Racism Training.

Hate Crimes in Pennsylvania Today             

Public acts of hate are still very much present in Pennylvania's communities. An increasing number of communities are impacted by hate crimes, and by organized hate groups and their message on web sites.


Pennsylvania’s statistics reveal that hate crimes are committed most often by what law enforcement calls the “reactive offender,” most often a white man who does not have a criminal record and is not a member of an organized hate group, but who believes his way of life is threatened, particularly by demographic change. His crime is intended to send a message that will repel “outsiders” from his neighborhood, workplace or school.  These crimes increasingly occur in and around the victim’s home.


Every year an increasing proportion of hate crime victims and perpetrators are young. Nationwide the majority of victims and perpetrators is between the ages of 11 – 20. In Pennsylvania, from 1993-1998, 62% of offenders were in this age group, even though that age group made up only 13.5 % of the state’s population.


Hate crimes are most likely to occur, and hate groups are best able to take hold, in communities where:


·        There is a fear and hostility about changing demographics

·        There are pockets of people struggling economically

·        There are major changes occurring over which people feel they have no control

·        The community is not attending to the needs of alienated young people

·        Everyday people are separated based on race, religion, ancestry, economics, sexual orientation or politics

·        Community leaders fail to publicly address the negatives of prejudice and the positives of becoming a more diverse community

·        Everyday people remain silent in the presence of bigotry


Pennsylvania’s hate crime law is called the Ethnic Intimidation and Institutional Vandalism Act, and it provides more serious penalties for certain criminal acts that have been motivated by hate toward the victim’s race, color, religion or national origin. The Pennsylvania Legislature is currently being lobbied to add sexual orientation, handicapped disability and gender to the hate crimes law.


Our state is also considerably impacted by “Bias Incidents,” which include tension among everyday people sparked by racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia and other forms of bigotry toward “outsiders.”  Groups like the Ku Klux Klan seek out and feed off of such tensions, and have been steadily increasing all across the country since the mid 1980s. They regularly hold public rallies, distribute hate literature and focus recruitment on youth. While those acts are often protected under the First Amendment, they still cause serious community tension and can provide people with the rationale to hate and to harm others. 


If you witness or experience a hate crime or bias incident we urge you to inform both police and the state and city Human Relations Commissions. Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission Pittsburgh Region (412. 565.2145) and Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations (412. 255. 2600).


--Ann Van Dyke

Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission


Without Sanctuary

Call now to reserve your copy of Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America,.  This collection of almost 100 photographs records the lynching of 4,742 blacks between 1882 and 1968 and is a testament to the camera’s ability to make us remember what we often choose to forget.  The book is $60 and can be reserved by calling The Warhol Store at 412.237.8303 or by ordering online at






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