now showingSpring 2008

By Leslie Vincen


Great British Art: 200 Years of Watercolors, Drawings, and Prints from The Bank of New York Mellon Collection is all about the Brits’ passion for the purity of the natural world. From the subtle watercolor harmonies of sweeping wind and dappled sunlight to a modernist focus on essential structural unity, the exhibition presents original styles by renowned artists active in the British art world from the mid-1700s through the 1950s. On display in the Works on Paper gallery through May 18, the show also reflects some personal rivalries and exchanges among many of the artists, whose influence reached not only other British painters but countless American and European artists, as well.

John Ruskin, British, 1819-1900, View across the Lagoon at Venice Showing the Balcony of the Casa Cantarini Sasan, 1876, watercolor over pencil, heightened with gouache. Collection of The Bank of New York Mellon.



Someday in the future, you may be able to beat the summer heat by lounging beneath a towering, flower-like  structure that provides both shade and cool air by pumping water through leaf forms, creating an evaporative cooling effect. This is just one ingenious idea about infrastructure and technology put forth in the exhibition Ecology. Design.Synergy, on view at Heinz Architectural Center through May 25.

The exhibition presents collaborative work between the architectural firm Behnisch Architekten and Transsolar ClimateEngineering, and documents 10 innovative and sustainable building projects in Europe and the United States, including a Pittsburgh award winner. It explores six key topics—temperature, air, sound, light, material, and human scale—through current projects, including RiverParc, a green, mixed-use, residential and arts neighborhood in downtown Pittsburgh, developed by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Concord Eastridge of Washington, D.C.

Ecology.Design.Synergy is an exhibition of the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa) and Galerie Aedes, Berlin, Germany.

Above: Behnisch Architekten + Transsolar ClimateEngineering, Norddeutsche Landesbank, Hanover/Germany, connecting bridge, 1996-2002. Photograph by Roland Halbe.



Carnegie Museum of Natural History is a budding paleontologist’s dream destination, and not solely because of its blockbuster, put-you-in-their-tracks dinosaur exhibit. There are plenty of pre-historic activities to dig into now that the dinosaurs are back. Combine a visit to Dinosaurs in Their Time with two dino-mite Earth Theater shows: OvirapTour, a new virtual tour that uses real-time graphics to investigate the compelling evolutionary link between birds and dinosaurs; and discover how dinosaurs lived and died in The Dinosaur Prophecy, where cold cases from the prehistoric age are solved. On April 12, during the latest installment of the Dinosaur Lecture Series, get the real dirt about what Carnegie’s dinosaurs—and the latest research techniques—can tell us about the sensory capabilities, brains, and behaviors of the largest land animals of all time. And don’t forget: Dinosaur Birthday Parties are back, delivering dino-sized fun for groups  of up to 24 guests on select Saturdays and Sundays. Call 412.662.3289 for more information.



Earth Day is a special day to think and learn about the planet and how to best care for it. That’s why on April 19 Carnegie Museum of Natural History will burst with cool activities to boost environmental awareness.

Celebrate by increasing your Earth IQ on  guided tours of the Hall of North American Wildlife and the traveling exhibit, Scoop on Poop! The Science of What Animals Leave Behind; get plenty of face time with historical artifacts from the Discover Carts; check out the Discovery Room to learn about the life cycle of a Monarch butterfly; and experience the Earth’s Wild Ride and be transported to a lunar space colony in 2081 via the interactive Discovery Dome. 

  Mark your calendar for two special annual events: On May 5 in Oakland, Carnegie Museum of Art’s Women’s Committee hosts its annual Senior Citizens Day Reception from 1-3 p.m., which includes free admission and tours. Call 412.622.3325 for group reservations. And on May 23, back for its 11th year, the Garden Themes & Birdhouse Dreamsdinner and auction benefits Powdermill Nature Reserve. Call 724.593.6105 for tickets.



Discover the universal language of rhythm—on the really big screen! Explore the sights and sounds of    continents and cultures guided by the internationally acclaimed performers of the sensational stage show STOMP. On view most Friday and Saturday nights in the Rangos Omnimax Theater, Pulse: A STOMP Odyssey, is a unique, large-format experience, and a vibrant celebration of diversity and culture, rhythm, and humanity. Experience an exhilarating kind of harmony with percussion groups from locales and backgrounds as disparate as Timbalada of Brazil and Les Percussion de Guinea of West Africa; from a 25,000 year-old tribal tradition in Botswana to a modern flamenco dancer in Spain. Opens March 7. Boom, chick!


design squad as built on tvDESIGN THIS

Could you craft a car out of rubber bands and CDs? Or build a sculpture that dances in the wind? What about constructing a machine that launches pop fly balls more than five feet high? Challenge yourself to assemble the coolest, most ingenious designs during Carnegie Science Center’s first-ever Design Squad Weekend April 12-13.  This special event is inspired by PBS’ engineering reality competition, Design Squad! And as part of the fun, meet the show’s cast and learn directly from real-life design professionals. This event is free with admission and is sponsored by the Girls, Math & Science Partnership, Intel, WGBH-Boston, and WQED Pittsburgh.



It’s freak folk at The Warhol—LIVE and in person, on Friday, March 7—as the museum welcomes Akron/Family, four self-described “extremely nice, sincere and well-mannered young men from rural America who moved to NYC in 2002 to make music” and have earned a reputation for ’60s rock-influenced psychedelic folk. Get ready for wild harmonizing that veers from gentle American country folk to unabashed electronic noise to erupting crescendos and extended improvisational barbershop quartet. When they all sing together, the band has been described as an “eerie and twisted version of The Band” with a mix of the Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Grateful Dead, The Hollies, and Led Zeppelin. It’s best to see them live and listen for yourself. Co-presented with 91.3 FM WYEP Presents and Calliope, Pittsburgh’s Folk Music Society. The show starts at   8 p.m. and tickets are $15 with limited seating. Make reservations by calling 412.237.8300, and check out more details about The Warhol’s LIVE shows at



You have to see it to believe it—and, luckily, you still have time. On view through March 30, Ron Mueck at The Andy Warhol Museum features some of the most realistic human sculptures to ever fill a room. Literally. From a colossal sculpture of a woman reclining in bed to a nine-foot naked man, the artist renders his giant art form in the most intimate detail, bringing viewers face to face with subtle human flaws and imperfections. As if to add shock to awe, Mueck does the same in delicate miniature, with an introspective look at a couple lying together on a bed. For 20 years, Mueck worked as a puppeteer, until he was asked to collaborate on an art exhibition. Since then, he’s crafted sculptures of humans that appear to breathe with a life of their own.


Also in this issue:

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