newsworthySpring 2008


In the name of art
and art lovers

Two recent gifts to Carnegie Museums’ Building the Future campaign made a point of honoring not only Pittsburgh’s two great art museums but three of the region’s legendary art enthusiasts. A gift of $1.5 million from The Fine Foundation has created the Milton Fine Curator position at The Warhol; and a gift of $3 million by the Alan and Jane Lehman Foundation and Ellen Lehman, daughter of the late Alan and Jane Lehman, has created the Alan G. and Jane A. Lehman Curator of Decorative Arts position at Carnegie Museum of Art, as well as an endowment for future acquisitions. These are the first endowed curatorial positions at the two museums.

"It gives me great pleasure to be able to honor Mom and Dad with a gift to their favorite museum,” said Ellen Lehman, when announcing the gift. “Dad's foresight in setting up a Charitable Lead Unitrust made the gift possible, and I know he would be pleased to see the gift materialize. He and Mom loved the Carnegie (the 'Mu') and were generous with their time, energy, and funds for over 40 years.”

Milt Fine’s strong support of Carnegie Museums began more than 25 years ago, when he was elected to the Board of Trustees. He also served as chair of Carnegie Museum of Art’s Board for eight years, was instrumental in bringing the art of Andy Warhol to Pittsburgh, and is an Emeritus Trustee.  

“The Warhol Museum has become one of the treasures of Pittsburgh and deserves strong support from the community,” Fine says.

Come one, come all

Along with the distinctive rivers and bridges that encircle a dramatic downtown skyline, Pittsburgh has garnered equal respect for its thriving cultural landscape—with Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh at the epicenter.    

With the opening of Dinosaurs in Their Time at Carnegie Museum of Natural History and BODIES … The Exhibition at the Science Center, and great special exhibitions at Carnegie Museum of Art and The Warhol, 2007 was a banner year for Carnegie Museums, with a 19 percent spike in attendance across all four museums. During Thanksgiving weekend alone, the Oakland museums welcomed nearly 13,000 visitors. For the big holiday rush between Christmas and New Year’s Day, admissions reached record-breaking numbers, with more than 24,000 people visiting the Oakland museums during the big holiday week. That’s nearly double the admissions during the same stretch in 2006. The Warhol increased its holiday crowds, too—by nearly 1,000 visitors. And to date, more than 100,000 visitors have viewed BODIES.

With the convenience of extended evening hours in Oakland until 8 p.m. on Thursdays and the excitement of upcoming exhibits such as Life on Mars: the 55th Carnegie International and Phase Two of Dinosaurs in Their Time this June, the      positive trend is expected to continue. 

E-motional reunion at
Carnegie Science Center

On an early August day last summer, powerful thunderstorms swept through downtown Pittsburgh, damaging Carnegie Science Center’s façade, shattering several windows, and impairing its iconic rooftop cone that has been part of the Pittsburgh skyline since 2000.

E-Motion, the 44-foot-tall, 66-foot-wide sculpture that glows different colors based on the forecasted weather, was successfully reinstalled on a windless January day, prompting out-of-towners to once again ask, “What is that?” only to learn that the Science Center is where
science comes alive, even on its rooftop.

The North Shore facility suffered more than $650,000 in damages caused by the severe summer storm. For much of January and February, scaffolding was erected around the exterior of the Science Center’s Rangos Omnimax Theater for repairs to the structure’s eastern façade. The large section ripped away on the southwest corner of the building is expected to be complete in early spring. 

Celebrating love and
making history

They came to Carnegie Museums’ spectacular Music Hall and Foyer in droves, two-by-two, to celebrate the love and commitment they first sealed as recently as a few months ago and as far back as 61 years. Some came in top-to-bottom wedding gear. One couple came in matching Pittsburgh Penguins jerseys, another in matching cowboy hats, another in the colorful and utterly beautiful saris from their native India. All told, 630 couples participated in the world’s largest wedding-vow renewal on February 10, dubbed “Re-Union” by Kitty Julian, marketing director for Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History. Julian came up with the idea two years ago when taking part in a brainstorming meeting for the Pittsburgh 250, this year’s celebration of the Pittsburgh region’s 250th birthday. It eventually blossomed into an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record™ for the most people to simultaneously renew their vows. 

Last year, a new record was set in Sydney, Australia, when 272 couples re-wed. The event in Oakland broke that record, although it has yet to be officially blessed by the folks at the Guiness book. Event planners expect that blessing to come soon,  however, as copies of the marriage licenses of the participants are on their way to   the world-record organization, along with a video of the event. 

It was a beautiful thing: Led by Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl—who was thrilled to be officiating at not only his first wedding but his first 630 weddings!—the couples recited, in unison, a moving declaration of their love. Then, they kissed their spouses and made history.

carnegie science awards honoring innovation in science and technology

Local science stars take center stage

For more than a decade, Carnegie Science Center has   recognized the region’s shining lights in science and technology at its annual Carnegie Science Awards, formerly the Awards for Excellence. On January 31, at a reception at the Science Center, this year’s stars were announced. They’ll be celebrated in person on May 9 at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland.

The winners receive $1,000 in cash and accolades from a community of science and technology professionals —including Eaton Corporation, the Science Center’s long-term partner in the awards program.

This year’s Chairman’s Award went to the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

Following are all of this year’s science stars:
Advanced Manufacturing, Paul Medwick, James Thiel, Andrew Wagner, PPG Industries; Advanced Materials, Stephen F. Badylak, D.V.M., Ph.D., M.D., McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine; Catalyst, John W. Manzetti, Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse; Corporate Innovation, Medrad, Inc.; Elementary Educator, Marie Lowe, Lynette Zimmerman, Avella Area School District; Middle Level Educator, Nancy Bires, Hermitage School District; High School Educator, Ellen Wright, Pittsburgh Public Schools; School District, Riverview School District; University/Post-Secondary Educator, Joseph J. McCarthy, Ph.D., Robert S. Parker, Ph.D., Mary Besterfield-Sacre, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh; Start-up Entrepreneur, John Shearer, Powercast Corporation; Entrepreneur, Rich Lunak, Innovation Works; Environmental, Richard V. Piacentini, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens; Information Technology, Entertainment Technology Center, Carnegie Mellon University; Journalism, Kenneth Chiacchia, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Life Sciences, William R. Wagner, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh; and Emerging Female Scientist, Tiziana Di Matteo, Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University.  

The North Shore’s automation station

What better place to open a world-class robotics exhibit than Pittsburgh, home to some of the world’s most cutting-edge robotic research and development? And who better to make it happen than the folks at Carnegie Science Center?

The Science Center is now working on a new permanent exhibit dedicated to the science behind robotics and automation technology. Scheduled to open in 2009, the exhibit will be a collaboration with the best robotic minds in the region, including the minds at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute. The Robot Hall of Fame, a project of Carnegie Mellon, will be permanently housed in the new exhibit. 

Two recent gifts are getting the project started on strong footing: a $100,000 grant from Allegheny Technologies and a $100,000 contribution from Mr. and Mrs. Chuck Queenan. The project is expected to  cost $3.4 million.
Also in this issue:

Traveling Warhol  ·  The Art of Being Human  ·  The Explorers Club  ·  Seeing Stars  ·  The Future is Now  ·  Director's Note  ·  Now Showing  ·  Face Time: Matt Wrbican  ·  Science & Nature: A Scoop Full  ·  Artistic License: Animal Attraction  ·  First Person: Full Body Experience  ·  Then & Now: The museum as classroom