newsworthyWinter 2010


Daniel Baumann, Tina Kukielski, and Dan Byers
Photo: Tom Little

 Team Carnegie International

 A three-person team of curators is now in place to organize the 2013 Carnegie International—Daniel Baumann, Tina Kukielski, and Dan Byers, the museum’s own associate curator of contemporary art—and their charge is to produce an exhibition that will span multiple sites in Pittsburgh. It’s the first time a trio of curators will organize the venerable exhibition, and only the second time it will extend beyond the museum into other points around the city.
The team approach, says Lynn Zelevansky, The Henry J. Heinz II Director of Carnegie Museum of Art, means the 56th installment of the International will benefit from conversations among three very talented curators of different ages, nationalities, and perspectives.

Baumann, an independent curator in Basel, Switzerland, is considered one of the most innovative contemporary curators in Europe with a reputation for curating public art and giving serious attention to outsider artists. Kukielski, a former senior curatorial assistant at the Whitney Museum of American Art, brings extensive experience working with emerging artists and producing large-scale, single-topic exhibitions. Byers, with his familiarity of working on
large thematic exhibitions and his institutional knowledge of Carnegie Museum of Art’s collections, anchors the team.

As for expanding the exhibition beyond the museum’s walls, Zelevansky explains that their goal isn’t to produce an exhibition that could be done just anywhere. “Our compact and agile city, with its lush mountains, beautiful rivers, and erector-set bridges, with its clear evidence of an industrial past and its   striving toward a high-tech future, is in many ways emblematic of our time,” she says. “The significance of Pittsburgh as the location for the International is one of the reasons for situating the show around the city.”

In Honor of a Noble Cause

The highlight of this year’s Founder Patrons Day Celebration was the induction of 50 extraordinary individuals, families, foundations, and corporations into Carnegie Museums’ newly established Carnegie Noble Quartet Society. The new society honors those whose total contributions to Carnegie Museums have reached, and in many cases far exceeded, $1 million. 

“These special individuals and organizations have distinguished themselves because of their great generosity and deep devotion to Carnegie Museums,” says David Hillenbrand. “Their collective support of our museums is really quite humbling, and we’re so pleased to be honoring them in perpetuity as members of the new Noble Quartet Society. They certainly embody the values set out by this institution’s founder so many years ago.”  

The Noble Quartet refers to the four bronze sculptures that grace the front of Carnegie Museums’ Oakland facility—Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Bach, and Galileo. Part of the 1905 expansion of the Oakland museum and library complex, the formidable figures were meant to represent the redeeming and elevating qualities of literature, art, music, and science, all of which were part of Andrew Carnegie’s great gift to the city of Pittsburgh.

When considering names for Carnegie Museums’ new society honoring its largest donors, Hillenbrand says it only seemed natural to reference the Noble Quartet. “These four figures are a constant reminder of why we exist,” he says, “and the Carnegie Noble Quartet Society will now serve as a constant reminder of the wonderful generosity that makes our ongoing existence and continued good work possible.”   

Inaugural Members of The Carnegie Noble Quartet Society, who have made gifts of $1 million or more to Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh:

Individuals & Families
Alice S. and James S. Beckwith III
Bob and Irene Bozzone
Suzy and Jim Broadhurst
Milton and Sheila Fine
The Chester G. Fisher Family
Edith H. and James A. Fisher
Lee and Isabel Foster
Mr. and Mrs. Stanley R. Gumberg
Mrs. Henry J. Heinz
Mr. and Mrs. Henry L. Hillman
William Talbott Hillman
The Roy A. Hunt Family
Virginia Kaufman
Peter S. and Jill G. Kraus
Alan G. and Jane A. Lehman Foundation at the request of Ellen Lehman and Charles Kennel
Paul Mellon
John G. Rangos Sr. Family
William R. Scott
Mr. and Mrs. Richard P. Simmons
Juliet Lea H. Simonds
W. P. Snyder III
Rachel Mellon Walton Family
Robert S. Waters
Foundations, Corporations,
and Organizations

Alcoa Foundation
Bayer USA Foundation
Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation
BNY Mellon
The Buhl Foundation
The Philip Chosky Charitable and Educational Foundation
The Colcom Foundation
Eden Hall Foundation
The Grable Foundation
H. J. Heinz Company Foundation
Heinz Endowments
Mary Hillman Jennings Foundation
The Kresge Foundation
Laurel Foundation
Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Richard King Mellon Foundation
The Pittsburgh Foundation
PPG Industries Foundation
Scaife Family Foundation
United States Steel Foundation, Inc.
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
Women’s Committee, Carnegie Museum of Art

Into Africa? Evidence suggests primates colonized Africa from Asia

The discovery of four ancient, palm-sized primates in what is now Libya further suggests the human family tree originated in Asia, not Africa.

The conventional narrative places the origins of anthropoids—the group of primates that includes all monkeys, apes, and humans—in Africa. But some paleontologists, including Chris Beard, Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Mary R. Dawson Chair of Vertebrate Paleontology, have long contended that they originated in Asia. This quest for information about the origins of man’s earliest ancestors remains one of the most hotly pursued subjects in paleontology.

Illustration: Mark Klingler

Beard, a world-renowned expert on early primates, is among the co-authors of a paper describing the new primates, published this past October in Nature. What’s exceptional about these new fossils, says Beard, is their diversity. They represent three distinct families of anthropoids that lived in North Africa at approximately the same time, about 39 million years ago, which suggests that anthropoids evolved before the time of these newly discovered fossils. Could the diversity and timing of the new anthropoids simply be the result of a gap in the earlier African fossil record? Beard and his fellow international researchers think otherwise, as the area has been well sampled over the past century. Instead, this latest discovery suggests that it’s more likely that several anthropoid species “colonized” Africa from another continent.

“If our ideas are correct, this early colonization of Africa by anthropoids was a truly pivotal event—one of the key points in our evolutionary history,” explains Beard. “At the time, Africa was an island continent; when these anthropoids appeared, there was nothing on that island that could compete with them. It led to a period of flourishing evolutionary divergence among anthropoids, and one of those lineages resulted in humans.” 

Warhol for your smart phone—and your kids

In the spirit of its namesake, The Warhol is constantly experimenting with ways to respond to, and create, popular culture. That means staying ahead of the curve in the tech world. The museum’s latest smart phone app—available for download from its recently redesigned website at—is getting big props for literally allowing fans to follow in Andy’s footsteps.

The Andy Warhol Museum app is a layer for the augmented reality browser, Layar. It uses augmented reality technology to display real-time digital information on top of real-world locations as seen through the camera of an iPhone or Android. In other words, you can point your smart phone at the street and view places Andy left his mark—his childhood home on Dawson Street; his alma matters of Schenley High School and Carnegie Mellon; and Carnegie Museum of Art, where he took Saturday art classes as a kid. The app offers a viewable range of 1,000 miles—so even from Pittsburgh, you can also catch a glimpse of Warhol’s New York City hangouts, including The Factory (now underground parking) and Studio 54. Users are also rewarded with exclusive access to related tidbits and photographs provided by Warhol educators.

And for The Warhol’s youngest audience, its latest low-tech offering is just as cool: a coloring book illustrated by Kristoffer Smith, a young graphic artist who started working at the museum when he was still in high school. It’s another fun and interactive way of introducing Warhol’s artistic practices to a new generation.

Bayer takes center stage in the name of science

By making science both relevant and fun, Carnegie Science Center’s goal is to increase science literacy in the region and motivate young people to seek careers in science and technology. In Bayer Corporation, a longtime collaborator, the Science Center has found the perfect partner.

 In its latest act of generosity, Bayer is the new sponsor of the Science Center’s 300-seat theater, renaming it the Bayer Science Stage. Each year, more than 10,000 visitors attend more than 200 productions, shows, lectures, and presentations in the first-floor space. Weekly productions, such as “Wheel of Science”—exploring the science of fireworks, Newton’s laws of motion, and combustion in a high energy show—entertain and educate
hundreds of school groups and the general public.

“Bayer Corporation has been committed to helping educate the next generation of scientists and engineers for more than 40 years,” says Greg Babe, president and CEO of Bayer Corporation. “That’s why our relationship with Carnegie Science Center is so important. Now, through the ‘Bayer Science Stage,’ we will continue to provide an atmosphere that inspires children of this region to explore the sciences.”

Bayer Corporation has been a corporate sponsor of Carnegie Science Awards and the Regional SciTech Initiative for more than a decade; it’s supported the C.A.U.S.E Challenge™ High School Film Festival since its inception in 2005; and through its Making Science Makes Sense initiative, the company continues to support the efforts of programs like the Girls, Math & Science Partnership.



Also in this issue:

Putting the Magic in the Miniature Railroad  ·  The Things They Carried  ·  The Expressionist  ·  In Search of the Arabian Horse  ·  Directors' Note  ·  Face Time: Marilyn Russell  ·  Science & Nature: A Walk with the Dinosaurs  ·  Artistic License: Finding Joy in the Moment  ·  Field Trip: Oh, the Places They Go  ·  The Big Picture