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Carnegie Museums

The Heinz Architectural Center
Through October 5


1 The Maridon Museum, SPRINGBOARD Architecture, Communication, Design
2 Shepler House and Studio, William Shepler
3 The Phantom’s Revenge, design - Morgan Manufacturing, concept - Harry Henninger
4 Pittsburgh Glass Center, dggp architecture

Pittsburgh Platforms
New Projects in Architecture + Environmental Design

Reusing the Old to Create Something Uniquely New
What issues characterize local design culture? Do certain areas or industries give rise to especially innovative design? These and other questions or themes arise as visitors wander through the archipelago of platforms containing the 19 projects chosen by Curator of Architecture Raymund Ryan for his first exhibition at Carnegie Museum of Art’s Heinz Architectural Center. Each project was produced by architects, landscape architects, or artists based or trained in Pittsburgh.

The projects are grouped into five categories: home, work, engineering, landscape, and culture; one prevailing theme is reuse.

The Shepler House and Studio, for example, designed by William Shepler, makes use of recycled glass-content tiles and recycled rice paper wall coverings. The offices of Red House Communications, designed by Celento Henn Architects + Designers, incorporates old windows and doors, while The Maridon Museum, designed by SPRINGBOARD Architecture, Communication, Design, joins an 1870s house and a former car dealership to form a new museum in Butler. Even the Phantom’s Revenge, Kennywood Park’s famous roller coaster, conceived by Harry Henninger Jr. and designed by Morgan Manufacturing, reuses segments of the original Phantom’s tracks and station platform, as well as its car chassis.

The reuse of materials in new construction is one of the most effective ways to be sensitive to a building’s impact on the environment. Another theme shared by most of these projects is energy—how much energy the project requires, ways to use natural resources such as sunlight or water, or reactions to the energy industry’s ecologic impact. The environmental engineering by Burt Hill Kosar Rittelmann Associates for the David L. Lawrence Convention Center takes advantage of convection currents off the river, as well as the roof’s shape, to provide ventilation, while natural light provides much of the interior lighting. The walls in the River Lofts, proposed structures floating on disused gravel barges, designed by Pfaffmann + Associates, will contain tubes filled with river water for heating and cooling. The Pittsburgh Glass Center, designed by dggp architecture with Bruce Lindsey, aims for a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold rating. The center recycles 90 percent of the heat from its furnaces and used recycled and energy-efficient materials in its construction.

The emphasis of this exhibition is on design process, conveyed by drawings, photographs, models, and samples of materials used. These and the other projects present a portrait of an industrial city that increasingly appreciates its past while facing, with confidence and flair, a radically different, post-industrial future.

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Very Familiar:
Celebrating 50 Years of Collecting Decorative Arts
November 8, 2003 through January 11, 2004

Wharton Esherick
(American, 1887-1970),
Chair, n.d., wood and leather,
Decorative Arts Purchase Fund

The department of Decorative Arts at Carnegie Museum of Art was formally created in 1953 with a grant from the Sarah Scaife Foundation and the appointment of the first curator, Herbert P. Weissberger. With additional funding from the Sarah Scaife Foundation, as well as funds or gifts from other sources, the department was able to make significant early purchases, such as Meissen porcelain from the Swan Service. A gift by the Hearst Foundation of two late-17th century French tapestries once owned by King Louis Philippe of France was another important early acquisition.

Beginning in November, Carnegie Museum of Art will take a look back at the department’s philosophy as well as its history through the exhibition Very Familiar: Celebrating 50 Years of Decorative Arts. This special exhibition will provide an opportunity to consider some of the themes that run through the museum’s collection, such as the relationship of East and West, increasing industrialization, and how new materials and technologies or cultural and social activities affect the decorative arts. It also will examine the definitions and boundaries of decorative arts, how they relate to the traditional idea of contemporary art, and the role of craft media in a museum’s collecting patterns.

The exhibition complements Strangely Familiar: Design and Everyday Life, an examination of contemporary design culture, which opens in the Heinz Architectural Center and in the Heinz Galleries on November 8.

Meissen Factory
(German, 1710 - Present),Tray (in form of shell),
c.1737-1740, Porcelain
Purchase: Gift of Sarah Mellon Scaife Foundation

Decorative Arts Symposium
New Reflections: Pittsburgh Glass, 1797 to the Present

Monday, October 20
9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
CMA Theater

The first glass factory in Pittsburgh opened in 1797, and the glass industry has played a key role in the city’s growth and economy ever since. Two speakers, Arlene Palmer Schwind, an independent museum consultant, and Anne Madarasz, chief curator at the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, will share their experience and insights into the story of Pittsburgh glass at the 26th annual Women’s Committee Decorative Arts Symposium.
For more information or to make a reservation, call 412.622.3208. Cost is $50
per person.

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Recent Acquisition:
Pottery by Kathy Butterly

Kathy Butterly, (American, b. 1963),
Trip, 2002, ceramic, A.W. Mellon Acquisition
Endowment Fund and Martha Mack Lewis Fund

The work of American artist Kathy Butterly is full of humor, sexiness, and California funk, says Curator of Contemporary Art Laura Hoptman. Butterly’s ceramics, more sculpture than pottery, are small vessels, no more than eight inches high, with glazes influenced by the colors of Indian miniatures.
Roberta Smith, writing in the New York Times, called Butterly “a genius of clay, stoneware and glaze, a miniaturist of Fabergé refinement and in her own way, one of the best artists of our time.”

Butterly's work follows on from the ceramic ideas explored by artists like Ken Price and Ron Nagle. All three produce vessels that are small, intensely complex, and vividly colored. Price and Nagle are represented in the museum's collection, having been acquired by the Decorative Arts department. The Butterly is a joint purchase by the Contemporary and Decorative Arts Departments and signals the growing inclusiveness of contemporary art and disappearance of the old classifications of artists by media.

Born in New York in 1963, Butterly received her BFA from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia in 1986 and her MFA from the University of California at Davis in 1990, where she studied with ceramicist Robert Arneson before his death in 1992.

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