Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh





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New Points of Entry for Panopticon: An Art Spectacular

Through August 17, 2003


"Visitors seem to love the free audio tours of Panopticon ," says Curator of

Education Marilyn Russell. When the exhibition opened, visitors could choose from three audio tours led by Carnegie Museum of Art Director Richard Armstrong; Chief Curator and Curator of Decorative Arts Sarah Nichols; and the Art Museum’s mascot, Art Cat, whose remarks were directed primarily to children.  “The tours help visitors select which works of art to focus on from among the 458 on display and provide insights from three different perspectives,” explains Russell.


Since the exhibition opened, the museum has added two new audio tours that enable visitors to see the art in different ways. In one tour, the museum staff comment on works that have excited interest among visitors or provoked lots of questions. These works range in media, subject, and time period, and include pieces from Frans Hals' Pieter van der Morsch, 1616, to Augustus St. Gauden’s popular Victory from 1892-1903.


About Edwin Austin Abbey’s painting, The Penance of Eleanor, Ducess of Gloucter, 1900, Karla Boos, an actress and the artistic director of Quantum Theatre in Pittsburgh, says, “Abbey sets a perfect stagepictures, an he’s gotten it right out of the text of Shakespeare, to create this moment between Eleanor and Henry; that is, this look between them. And he directs every part of our attention to that look.”


The second tour blends history and background on the works of art with personal comments from artists and popular Pittsburgh personalities who are familiar with the artist or the subject being featured.  "Some of the pairings are obvious," says Russell, "such as artist Philip Pearlstein talking about his own painting, Two Models, (1980), or Joseph Koerner sharing his insights into a painting by his father Henry Koerner, It

Isn't the Heat, It's the Humidity, (1947-1948)." 


Other connections between artworks and commentators are less obvious, such as Karla Boos, director of Pittsburgh’s Quantum Theatre, talking about Edwin Austin Abbey's Penance of Eleanor, 1900; composer and musician David Stock analyzing Stuart Davis' Composition Concrete, 1957; and filmmaker Rick Sebak discussing John Kane's Larimer Avenue Bridge, 1932.


 "These people have different points of entry into the artworks," says Russell.  "By listening to what they have to say, visitors may find new ways to think about the art. The most consistent request we’ve had from visitors is for more audio information on works of art. With the addition of these new tours, 40 additional works of art have been addressed. Visitors can follow the tours as they’ve been organized, or mix and match various tours, listening to as many or as few as they like in any order.”


Architectural Duo Makes Their Debut

Two New Curators at Heinz Architectural Center


With their widely divergent backgrounds, Tracy Myers and Raymund Ryan, the two new curators at the Heinz Architectural Center, make a complementary team.  Myers, who first came to the center as assistant and then associate curator in 1997, brings both a knowledge of the business world and years of museum experience, along with an understanding of community issues, to her position as curator.  Ryan, who joined the museum earlier this year, was a practicing architect as well as a scholar and critic.


“Although Ray and I have similar interests, we have different strengths, and this will create a wonderful synergy,” explains Myers.  “We will do our own exhibitions, but will also collaborate on shows.  In general, I think each of us can act as a sort of prism or filter through which to refine and elaborate our ideas.”


In recent years, Myers organized Designing Oakland, Aluminum in Contemporary Architecture, and, with Joseph Rosa, Inside Out: New Perspectives on the Heinz Architectural Center¹s Collection. In addition, she was the local curator for exhibitions organized by other institutions, including the recent Out of the Ordinary: The Architecture and Design of Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Associates and The Pritzker Architecture Prize1979-1999.  Prior to joining Carnegie Museum of Art, Myers was special assistant to the assistant director for Public Programs at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, New York. She also has been a panelist and reviewer for The National Endowment for the Humanities.


Since moving to Pittsburgh from New York, Myers has been active in a number of public service activities and is a member of the Board of Directors of the South Side Local Development Company and the Board of Regents, Foundation for Architecture, AIA Pittsburgh. She was a member of the project committee for the Hill District Public Art Project, in addition to being involved with several community-based organizations in Pittsburgh.


“My involvement in the community is a matter of personal interest,” Myers says, “but it is also important for the department to have a presence in the public realm, so that we can understand our community and, conversely, so that people here can appreciate the value and importance of this city’s remarkable architectural environment.”


Myers has a Masters Degree in Art History from Hunter College of The City University of New York and is a Ph.D. candidate in Art History at the University of Delaware.  She served as adjunct lecturer at both institutions.


Ryan, born and raised in Ireland, holds a Masters Degree in Architecture from Yale University.  He worked in L.A. between 1987 and 1990 for the Canadian archictect Arthur Erickson.  Between 1990 and 1992, Ryan was co-director of the Urban Design Group, National Building Agency, Dublin, and from 1993 to the present, was studio lecturer in the School of Architecture, University College Dublin. In 2002, he was the Irish Commissioner for both the 2000 and 2002 Venice Architecture Biennale.


Widely published, Ryan is a contributing editor for Blueprint (London), contributor to The Architectural Review (London), and, in addition, he has published articles in many magazines including Architectural Record (New York), Architecture (Washington/New York), A+U (Tokyo), Domus (Milan), Irish Architect (Dublin), l’Arch+ (Brussels), LA Architecture, Metropolis (New York), Monument (Sydney), tate magazine (London), 10+1 (Tokyo), and World Architecture (London). Ryan is co-author of Building Tate Modern (Tate Publishing, 2000) and author of Cool Construction (Thames & Hudson, 2001). He also has contributed the keynote essay to an upcoming monograph on the work of New York artist Kent Floeter [Building Flatness, New York Stephen David Editions].


“We hope to bring the best of world architecture here to Pittsburgh, and to act as a gallery and laboratory for Pittsburgh architecture itself,” says Ryan.





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