found art in pittsburgh

While wandering around Pittsburgh for three days, we came upon some surprising, impressive and even whimsical art.


Cardinal Red Macchia with Chartreuse Green Lip Wrap (2007) Dale Chihuly at Phipps Conservatory

Angela Sorbara immigrated from Cambria, Italy in 1929 to join her husband Bruno, who had been working in a steel mill and saving for a house so they could start a family.  This portrait pays homage to all immigrants who settled in Pittsburgh, making it the diverse city it is today.


Teresa by Angela Fullard at the Heinz History Museum

Isaly’s restaurants and food brands have long been part of Pittsburgh’s identity. This picture shows vintage menus and advertising, as well as other Pennsylvania products such as Snyder’s chips, Heinz ketchup and candy bars from Clark, Boyer and Hershey.


A Celebration of Isaly’s By Liz Jones at the Heinz History Museum

Evelyn Nesbit achieved worldwide notoriety when her husband, Pittsburgh millionaire Harry Thaw, shot and murdered Stanford White, a famous New York architect, on the rooftop theatre of Madison Square Garden on June 25, 1906. What followed was called “The Trial of the Century” by the press.  Evelyn found herself at the center of the crime and the star of a great courtroom drama.  Her husband pleaded insanity.


Trial of the Century by Frank Harris at the Heinz History Museum

Mary Cassatt, born on Pittsburgh’s North Side in 1844, became the first and only American woman to work and exhibit with the Impressionists.  She also became a tireless advocate for women’s suffrage, before the concept and term had been invented.


Mary Cassatt by Mark Bender at the Heinz History Museum

In 1932, a “mob hit” occurred when the two owners of Rome Coffee and Bakery, their shop which served as a front for their racketeering business, were murdered.  They also were a major supplier of alcohol during Prohibition.


Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli by Lisa Rasmussen at the Heinz History Museum


BINGO! at the Heinz History Museum


Musicians on the street


Mural in downtown Pittsburgh


Mural in downtown Pittsburgh


Mural in downtown Pittsburgh

Andy Warhol was deeply affected by media reports surrounding President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.  He began a large portrait series of Jacqueline Kennedy based on images from magazines and newspapers, shown individually and in groupings.  By isolating and repeating Jackie’s image, the artist suggests both the solitary experience of the widow and the collective mourning of the United States (from a plaque at the Andy Warhol Museum).


Jackie, 1964 by Andy Warhol


Street mural in the Mexican War Streets

Randyland is the whimsical home of artist Randy Gilson. He began the art of making something worthwhile out of discarded materials.  He gathered the bricks for Randyland from homes in the Mexican War Streets that had been torn down.  He says, “Randyland is a place for renewing, replanting, recreating, and reimagining what we can be.”









The Mattress Factory is a contemporary art gallery on the Mexican War Streets. It supports and exhibits alternative art forms. Solar Grow Room is an indoor work that supports plant germination through solar power. It is meant to replenish plants threatened by overuse of pesticides. The plants will be moved outside in spring to give bee populations natural respite.


Solar Grow Room (2017) by Meg Webster at the Mattress Factory

I found fascinating the personal journals of Greer Lankton, a revolutionary artist who took part in the art scene in New York City’s East Village during the 1980s.  Her work is autobiographical and reveals her obsessions as a transgender person and a drug addict. She “explored and questioned the norms of gender and sexuality, as well as the powerful imagery of popular culture and consumerism” (from a plaque at the museum).


Journal by Greer Lankton at the Mattress Factory

Greer Lankton is well-known for her painstakingly crafted doll sculptures that reflect her experience as a transgender person, as well as her lifelong obsession with her body and sexuality. It’s all about ME, Not You is an idealized recreation of the artist’s Chicago apartment.


It’s all about ME, Not You (2008) by Greer Lankton


“PHOTOGRAPHY” INVITATION:  I forgot to set a photography intention for Pittsburgh, so I decided to create a post of photos of the surprising art I found along the way.

I invite you to create a photography intention and then create a blog post for a place you have recently visited. Alternately, you can post a thematic post about a place: photos of whatever you discovered that set your heart afire. You can also do a thematic post of something you have found throughout all your travels: churches, doors, people reading, people hiking, mountains, whatever!

You probably have your own ideas about this, but in case you’d like some ideas, you can visit my page: photography inspiration.

I challenge you to post no more than 20-30 photos (fewer is better) and to write no more than 500-words about any travel-related photography intention you set for yourself. Include the link in the comments below by Wednesday, May 16 at 1:00 p.m. EST.  When I write my post in response to this challenge on Thursday, May 17, I’ll include your links in that post.

This will be an ongoing invitation on the first and third Thursdays of every month. Feel free to jump in at any time. 🙂

I hope you’ll join in our community. I look forward to reading your posts!

the ~ wander.essence ~ community

I invite you all to settle in and read a few posts from our wandering community.  I promise, you’ll be inspired!

Thanks to all of you who wrote posts on the “photography” invitation. 🙂