Museum Mania

It seems that for the past few weekends, we’ve been able to take advantage of free days at different museums around town. About a week and a half ago, the Smithsonian did their Museum Day Live! event nationwide. We were able to go on the Smithsonian website and choose a museum that we wanted to visit to print out free tickets for the day. We ended up visiting an old manor/estate in nearby Frick Park that’s been turned into a museum. They had artwork displayed in one of the “guest houses,” old cars and carriages on display in the garage, and the house was full of period-appropriate furnishings and open to tour.

That was on a Saturday. To follow it up, the city of Pittsburgh held its own free admission day to most of the museums around town on Sunday! We went to a couple of contemporary art museums (including the Andy Warhol Museum), and honestly…I was kind of glad that I hadn’t had to pay for admission. Contemporary art is just not my thing, I guess. I like art that’s pretty.

This past weekend, the Heinz History Center randomly had a free admission day. It’s ironic that we’ve visited the Heinz History Center nearly every weekend since we’ve lived in Pittsburgh (because our church meets in the ballroom each week), but we’ve never taken a tour of the exhibits. Of all of the free museums we went to, Heinz History Center was my favorite (and the only one I forgot to bring my camera to). They had an eclectic array of exhibits (so if you didn’t like the exhibit on how glass is made, you could always go visit the Steelers/Pirates Sports Museum exhibit), and the place was so HUGE we almost got lost a couple of times. We didn’t even have enough time to see everything! We’ll definitely be back.

Here are some of the highlights:

Justin examining a remake of Van Gogh's "Starry Night" using tiny tiny clippings from magazines.

Justin examining a remake of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” using tiny tiny clippings from magazines.

Inside a greenhouse/conservatory on the grounds at the Frick House

Inside a greenhouse/conservatory on the grounds at the Frick House

The famous mirror room exhibit at the Mattress Factory Art Museum. Ironically, the strongest impression I had from this display was the overwhelming smell of FEET since we were required to remove or cover our shoes before entering.

The famous mirror room exhibit at the Mattress Factory Art Museum. Ironically, the strongest impression I had from this display was the overwhelming smell of FEET since we were required to remove or cover our shoes before entering the exhibit.

Why would they call an art museum “The Mattress Factory,” you ask? I have no idea. It was really confusing to me when we first moved here. Why is our Lonely Planet guide recommending we visit a mattress store?

I was fascinated with this little Craft-O-Matic vending machine. Insert a $5 bill, and you could choose a tiny keychain-sized craft made by a local artist.

I was fascinated with this little Craft-O-Tron vending machine at the Mattress Factory. Insert a $5 bill, and you could choose a tiny keychain-sized craft made by a local artist.

One of the creepier exhibits at the Mattress Factory. A statement about artificial life on hospital respirators and the prescription drug culture, perhaps?

One of the creepier exhibits at the Mattress Factory. A statement about artificial life on hospital respirators and the prescription drug culture, perhaps?

Justin standing outside of the Andy Warhol Museum.

Justin standing outside of the Andy Warhol Museum.

A little hypnotizing pop art in the entryway to get us in the Andy Warhol mood

A little bit of hypnotizing pop art in the entryway to get us in the Andy Warhol mood

I don't know if this counts as art, but we went to go see the giant rubber duck that is making his home in the Allegheny River for the next couple of weeks. I can't get over how BIG he is!

I don’t know if this counts as art, but we went to go see the giant rubber duck that is making his home in the Allegheny River for the next couple of weeks. I can’t get over how BIG he is!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Museums, Pittsburgh | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Museum Mania

  1. Some of those are quite exotic and interesting! That is awesome that you have so many cool museums to visit within driving range!

    • Pittsburgh is a great place for museums! We haven’t even scratched the surface…there are a bunch we haven’t had a chance to visit yet. 🙂

  2. Wow! So much cool stuff to see! The giant rubber duck is SO cool! I’d love to see that in person! The craft-a-tron is really a neat idea. And it’s so cool that your church meets in a ballroom. 🙂 Glad you guys had fun!

    • The rubber duck is really cool! He’s been traveling around the world actually…maybe he’ll stop near Memphis! It was exciting because before he came to Pittsburgh, he was in Hong Kong. We have a friend who lives in Hong Kong and she took her picture with him and posted it on Facebook. I guess he’s going to be like the traveling gnome. 🙂

      It is cool that our church meets in a ballroom! They have an actual building but it’s FAR away from where we live, so we go to their Sunday night service in the city instead. I hope that eventually they’ll be able to get a city campus building of their own. It’s CRAZY how much work goes into hauling the equipment into the service elevator each week and constructing the stage and the light display, and then tearing it down again after the service. But I’m really grateful that they do it!

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