Don’t miss everyone’s favorite Philadelphia artist Zoe Strauss, this Thursday evening at 6:30 for a free artist talk in the Carnegie Museum of Art Theater. Zoe will be talking about her past work, along with her project for the 2013 Carnegie International. For the International, Zoe made frequent trips to Homestead and then lived there for two months, opening a public portrait studio where she took hundreds of portraits of the citizens of Homestead. The studio also included an incredible library of books and historical documents chronicling the Homestead Strike, as well as histories of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art, Andrew Carnegie, art history, and labor history. Many of the portraits she made are on view at the Carnegie Museum of Art, along with street photography, large-scale photographic murals, and videos.
HISTORICAL HOMESTEAD FLASH! Don’t miss out on it. “I’m not a humanitarian, I’m a hell-raiser.” - Mother Jones (In response to a speaker who introduced her as “a great humanitarian,” Jones retorted: “Get it straight, I’m not a humanitarian, I’m a hell-raiser.”)
Zoe Strauss’s portrait studio is about to open in Homestead!
She’s been assembling incredible images, stories, histories, and ideas on the Homesteading blog. The studio opens on Labor Day, and you can catch Zoe in Homestead until the middle of October. If you’re a resident of Homestead, stop by and have your portrait taken! The portraits will find their way into the museum in an installation that involves video, massive wall graphics, and over 200 portraits.
The Carnegie Museum of Art shares a massive building with both the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and the Carnegie Library. One of my favorite things to do is to walk through the art museum’s massive Hall of Architecture and use my employee badge to open a small dark door in the back corner and then suddenly appear in the middle of a bustling public library. A few steps away, nestled in a cozy corner of the very user-friendly first floor, is the Zine Collection. There are always teenagers and others reading the zines. I love encountering these DIY, subversive, weird, brilliant little publications in the middle of the library. The collection is overseen by Jude Vachon, who does all sorts of good things with zines and art around town. Here’s a nice piece she wrote for the Post-Gazette about the library.
Next time you’re at the museum, don’t miss the zines next door.
Despite a 100+ year relationship with new art, Pittsburgh has sometimes had an awkward relationship with the avant-garde. In the early 1940s, Outlines Gallery was way ahead of the Carnegie International (abstract art wasn’t really shown in the Internationals until the 1950s).
In 1941, 21-year-old Elizabeth Rockwell opened a gallery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This little gallery, Outlines, showcased the works of now iconic artists such as Alexander Calder, John Cage, Maya Deren, Merce Cunningham, and more. Outlines featured performances, lectures, music, and film, and it hosted many exhibits before it was finally forced to close its doors in 1947 due to lack of support. With the recent discovery of the gallery chronology and two scrapbooks kept by Elizabeth Rockwell, we embarked on a journey four years ago and have ever since been Tracing Outlines! @outlinesfilm