Archive for the ‘Finds’ Category

Enter the archive

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013
Jeff Koons sculpture being installed during 1988 Carnegie International

Jeff Koons sculpture being installed during 1988 Carnegie International

Some say that the Carnegie Museum of Art was the first museum of modern and contemporary art in the U.S. It is true–as far as American institutions go–the Carnegie has been around the block. It opened in 1895 and a year later started an annual exhibition to bring work by the best and most talented artists to Pittsburgh. We inherited this model of an exhibition and hence thought it pertinent to reflect back on how it all went over these 117 years. Now, enter the archive: a visual history as told through installation photos and films (some seen for the first time), a few choice artworks, and a good amount of text. It opened over the weekend and will be up through the run of the 2013 Carnegie International.

Carnegie International in the 1990s and 2000s

Carnegie International in the 1990s and 2000s


Carnegie International in the 1960s

Carnegie International in the 1960s




Hell with the Lid Off

Friday, June 14th, 2013

Munhall Blog Gabi

Walking through the hallway at Carnegie Museum of Art, my eyes detected the familiar two letters of DU [“You”] for the renowned Swiss Art magazine founded in 1941. It was the February 1983 issue dedicated to Pittsburgh (!). Edgar Munhall, born and raised in Pittsburgh and later curator of the Frick Collection in New York (1965–2000) contributed the opening essay. Unimpressed by the devastating descriptions of poets and intellectuals, he portrays the steel city in a surprisingly positive way. Munhall had left Pittsburgh for New York in 1951, then 17 years old.

“The city I was leaving did not have a very good reputation. As one of the greatest industrial centers of the word it had been described by Lincoln Steffens (1866–1936, American journalist) in 1905 as ‘Hell with the lid off.’ A few years later [sic] Herbert Spencer (1820–1903, English philosopher) opined that, ‘A month in Pittsburgh would justify anyone in committing suicide,’ and, on her deathbed in 1924 Eleonora Duse (1858–1924, Italian actress) was said to have exclaimed, ‘Oh, my God, I am dying in Pittsburgh!’ The short-story-writer O. Henry (1862–1910, American) called the city ‘the low-down-est hole in the surface of the earth.'”

Unlike them, Munhall expresses the true love for his hometown: “Growing up in such a maligned environment had left me with totally different feelings, for I had always thought that Pittsburgh possessed a magical and unique beauty, sinister and awesome. Even before I had found artistic parallels in Whistler’s views of London to justify my cause, I had thrilled to the experience of walking to school unable to see through the smoky fog more than three feet in front me.”

Gabriela Burkhalter is the guest curator of The Playground Project.


Belfast Punk Night @ Apartment Talks

Friday, June 7th, 2013


Apartment Talk #13: Belfast Punk Night

On May 13th, in collaboration with CMU School of Art, we hosted a Belfast punk event that had been percolating for over a year. I had been wanting to screen a documentary on the subject by John T. Davis, called Shellshock Rock (1979), since Duncan Campbell told me about how influential the film had been for him, but it took ages—and a circuitous train of a million emails—for me to get my hands on a copy. Around the same time as the DVD arrived from the UK, someone posted the whole thing on YouTube. So enjoy with unearned ease, but feel sorry you missed out on the dance party. That’s right: after the screening, DJ John Carson spun some records and people danced. An Apartment first (I think). (more…)

Pramod Pati, Abid (1970)

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Ian Finch, Associate Editor for Publications here at Carnegie Museum of Art, just sent me this link to Abid (1970). Amazing, right? Pramod Pati (1932–1975) was an Indian filmmaker.

Moroccan Tape Stash

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Maroccan Tape Stash

Check this, wherever you are! Tim Abdellah’s blog on “music from Moroccan cassettes that is, to the best of my knowledge, not available outside of Morocco. It is shared here to spread the appreciation of Moroccan music and artists.”