Pittsburgh: A Cultural Phenomenon
Pittsburgh - called one of the best arts and culture destinations in the country - has built a stellar reputation for the quality and richness of its art and its cultural offerings. Set in the heart of the city, downtown's vibrant Cultural District is home to nine theatres that showcase a world renowned symphony orchestra, opera, dance and award-winning plays that enliven Downtown Pittsburgh.
And, throughout the city and the region, galleries and museums offer everything from the cutting-edge to the classic. The entertainment is endless and the quality and variety superb. So, put aside your previous impressions of Pittsburgh - and prepare to be astounded.
Pittsburgh is on the map when it comes to arts and culture. A rich legacy of community investment and involvement from well-known industrial and corporate leaders (e.g., Carnegie, Mellon, Heinz, Frick, Scaife, Benedum, Phipps, Hillman and a host of others) have built the foundation of the city's rich cultural environment.
From the world-renowned Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, which performs in its elegant Heinz Hall home, to the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Dance Council and PNC Broadway Series all performing at the beautifully-restored Benedum Center for the Performing Arts - and from contemporary and classical plays performed by the Pittsburgh Public Theater at the O'Reilly Theatre, to the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, the Cultural District is unique. Few cities can compare to this vibrant 14-block area rich with live theatre, art and numerous restaurants.
For art lovers, there are a plethora of museums and galleries. Among these is the highly acclaimed Andy Warhol Museum, the "art that dares" museums celebrates the life and work of one of Pop Arts founding fathers and Pittsburgh native. The largest single artist museum in the United States, the Warhol is a must see! The Mattress Factory, hailed as one of the world's best facility for installation art, is always a surprise. The Carnegie Museum of Art houses an outstanding collection of contemporary art that includes film and video works plus works of American art from the late nineteenth century, French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings and European and American decorative arts from the late seventeenth century to the present. And, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History's renovation houses the third largest collection of authentic dinosaur bones in the world.
Other outstanding collections include the Frick Pittsburgh, once the residence of industrialist Henry Clay Frick, the Senator John Heinz History Center, the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, the Nationality Rooms at the University of Pittsburgh, where 30 rooms depict Pittsburgh's ethnic heritage, and a host of other museums located throughout the region. And, just outside of Pittsburgh are stunning examples of Frank Lloyd Wright's amazing architecture, including Fallingwater, called one of the 50 places of a lifetime, the House on Kentuck Knob and the Duncan House, one of six Wright-designed homes where you can actually spend the night.
So if you think you've got to go to New York City or Paris for some serious arts and culture, think again. Pittsburgh is on the map when it comes to its long-standing passion for the arts.