| There are more than 1.6 million objects in Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s magnificent anthropology collections, as we learn in the cover story of this issue of CARNEGIE magazine. More than a million of the collections’ archaeological treasures come from western Pennsylvania, providing invaluable evidence of the Ohio Valley’s early inhabitants. Nearly 10,000 other objects are remnants of ancient cultures from Costa Rica, unearthed by a Carnegie Museum archaeologist in the early 1900s.
Our Carnegie Museums are a wellspring of priceless collections, including The Andy Warhol Museum’s famed Time Capsules, the topic of another story in this issue. But as with anything of great value, the true worth of any great collection lies in what you do with it, a topic that our four distinct museums are addressing as we look to the future to leverage our resources across the Carnegie complex.
You, our members, share a stake in that future. Throughout 2012, we will plan our future initiatives as we align our museums’ unique goals in a unified strategy. We are scanning the external environment to understand how societal changes such as technology, globalization, communications, and changing public values are affecting museums and their audiences. Internally, we are examining all operations, including collection display, exhibitions, and programs for children and adults. Throughout this review we will place museum visitors, especially our members, atop our priorities as we seek to invigorate the educational and cultural experiences we provide.
Meanwhile, this will be another year of exciting programming at our four museums. Carnegie Museum of Art will bring us two magnificent exhibitions, one displaying masterworks of Impressionism, the other a comprehensive history of World’s Fairs (co-organized with The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Kansas City). The Museum of Natural History’s M is for Museum, an interactive exhibition on the wonders of nature and exploration, is being embraced by families and has been extended through August. The Warhol is organizing Factory Direct, showcasing the work of 15 established contemporary artists inspired by residencies in Pittsburgh-based factories. In October, we will present Warhol Headlines, an exhibition coming to Pittsburgh after a showing at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Later this year, Carnegie Science Center will introduce SpacePlace, its newest attraction on the wonders of space exploration that will feature a host of interactive exhibits, including a replica of the International Space Station.
I hope you share my excitement and optimism about our promising future. Please accept my thanks for your ongoing commitment and support.
John Wetenhall, President & CEO
Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh