Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh





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Architecture + Water

February 9 through May 12


The recent interest in developing Pittsburgh’s riverfront aesthetically, rather than industrially, is a part of a trend seen in many cities fortunate enough to have water fronts.  Locally, the leadership group Riverlife Task Force has increased the dialogue and raised the standards of public expectation for waterfront development, both public and private.


The Van Alen Institute, a New York organization committed to improving the design of public spaces, has brought together five international examples of extraordinary designs, all built or near completion, that relate water, the nearby spaces, and human inhabitants in an innovative way.  Architecture + Water, which opens February 9 in Heinz Architectural Center, uses models, drawings, and other media to show each project in depth.



The Blur Building, a media center designed by Diller + Scofidio that is part of a complex for Swiss EXPO 2002 in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, appears to hover over a lake, as a grid with attached nozzles sprays a constant mist to create fog.  As Herbert Muschamp wrote in The New York Times, “It is a building about becoming a building, about imminence and immanence . . . .  Approached by pier, the Blur hovers over Lake Neuchatel, [and is] manufactured from its water.”  Computers adapt the strength of the spray according to wind conditions; visitors are given plastic raincoats; and at night the fog becomes a screen for projected images.


Also included in the exhibition is Quattro Villa, a housing project in the Netherlands.  Reacting to the recent practice of returning “reclaimed” land to its marshy origins, the architects, MVRDV, have mounted four two-story apartments on two elevator stilts, providing living space while altering the environment minimally.


The Lake Whitney Water Treatment Plant in Hamden, Connecticut, is the only United States project in the exhibition. It consists of a stainless steel tank surrounded by a waterworks park, with gardens corresponding to the various stages of water filtration.  Steven Holl Architects and Michael Van Valkenburgh and Associates collaborated on this project.  Muschamp writes that the tank’s curving lines “suggest a segment of river frozen in mid-flow.  The image evokes transition, from one place or condition to another. . . .”


The exhibition also includes Japan’s Yokohama International Port Terminal, by Foreign Office Architects, as well as Blackfriars Bridge Station by Alsop Architects.  This train station is situated in the middle of an old railroad bridge, making one’s destination also a means of access. As Muschamp says, it “turns transitional space into place.”


Treasure Hunt:  Recent Acquisitions of Works on Paper

Through June 2


The museum’s collection of works on paper covers the longest chronological period of any department in the museum, beginning with prints from the late fifteenth century. 


“In our print collection, we try to create as complete a historical overview of printmaking as is possible for an institution like our,” explains Linda Batis, associate curator of Fine Arts, Carnegie Museum of Art.  “We’ve acquired a tremendous amount in the last decade, and this exhibition is a chance to show the highlights.”  The exhibition focuses on the last decade of collecting and includes old master prints, modern European and American prints, European and American drawings, and photographs, pre-1945.


In making acquisitions, Batis says, the museum looks for works in media or by artists not yet represented in the collection and that characterize a particular school of printmaking, such as Italian Mannerist prints from the late 16th century.  “We have a mental picture of what we need to tell the story, and we fill in the gaps as the market presents opportunities.”


The museum also seeks out works that show how artists grappled with a particular challenge, such as depicting dark tones or night subjects in prints.  “Artists started to think about that in the late 16th century,” says Batis, “and we have some prints that show how they dealt with that challenge.”


CMA art class alumni

Tam O’Shanters,  Pallettes, 

Saturday Creative Art Classes, The Art Connection


We want to hear from you!


If you attended Saturday art classes at Carnegie Museum of Art in any of the above programs, mark your calendars for March 15, 2002. That’s the date of a special reunion party and preview of this year’s student exhibition, and we want to include you.


Reminisce with old friends, see what today’s kids are up to. Send your name, address and email to:


Darnell Warren, Children's Programs

Carnegie Museum of Art

4400 Forbes Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA  15213-4080

Telephone:   412.622.3214 






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Copyright (c) 2002 CARNEGIE magazine 
All rights reserved.