Pittsburgh: A Cultural Phenomenon

The vibrant arts and culture scene is alive and thriving in Pittsburgh. 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.

The vibrant arts and culture scene is alive and thriving in Pittsburgh. 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.

A lasting legacy of community investment and involvement from industrial and corporate leaders, including Andrew Carnegie, H.J. Heinz, Henry Clay Frick, Henry L. Hillman and a host of others, built the foundation of the city's rich cultural environment.

Set in the heart of the city, Downtown's lively Cultural District is home to nine theatres that showcase a world-renowned symphony orchestra, opera, dance and award-winning plays that enliven Pittsburgh.

The GRAMMY® award-winning Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performs in the elegant Heinz Hall, while the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Dance Council and PNC Broadway Series take the stage at the beautifully-restored Benedum Center for the Performing Arts. The August Wilson African American Cultural Center welcomes a variety of performances, from concerts to theater to influential speakers and more. And, contemporary and classical performances from the Pittsburgh Public Theater also can be found at the O'Reilly Theatre. Few cities can compare to this vibrant 14-block area rich with live theatre, art and numerous restaurants.

For visual art lovers, there is a wealth of museums and galleries to explore. Among the highly acclaimed is The Andy Warhol Museum, a seven-story museum that celebrates the life and work of the Pittsburgh native, one of Pop Arts’ founding fathers. As the most comprehensive single artist museum in North America, The Warhol is a must see.

Just down the road you’ll find The Mattress Factory Museum of Contemporary Art, a unique and captivating museum hailed as one of the world's best facilities for installation art. With exhibitions in three buildings, the Mattress Factory is always an enchanting experience.

The Carnegie Museum of Art, arguably the first contemporary art museum in the United States, features a collection of more than 30,000 objects in a range of different media. And, the attached Carnegie Museum of Natural History allows visitors to step back in time and walk among the dinosaurs and other ancient creatures in the Dinosaurs in Their Time exhibit, one of the country’s largest collections of dinosaur bones.

The Frick Pittsburgh is a five-acre complex of museums and landscaped grounds, which includes Clayton, home of Henry Clay Frick from 1882-1905 and one of the nation’s most well-preserved Gilded Age estates. The Frick Art Museum showcases Helen Clay Frick’s collection of fine and decorative art while also hosting a variety of eclectic exhibitions. The landscaped grounds also include the Car & Carriage Museum, a greenhouse and an award-winning café.

The Senator John Heinz History Center, Pennsylvania’s largest history center and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, tells the story of life in the Western Pennsylvania region and features both rotating and permanent exhibitions, including the biggest collection of original items from the ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ television set.

Visitors also can explore the beauty and wonders of nature at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, a 15-acre attraction which includes a historic 14-room glasshouse and 23 distinct gardens. Phipps garnered great praise in 2021, achieving accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition afforded to the nation’s museums. Also worth a visit are 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.

Pittsburgh also is home to public art that adds character to already unique spaces. Katz Plaza, Downtown, is an urban oasis for the community with a 25-foot bronze fountain and several unique sculptures and benches. The City of Asylum houses in the Northside are a safe space for poets and artists dating back to 2004. The Southwestern Pennsylvania World War II Memorial is a touching token of gratitude. Also on the North Shore is Tribute to Children, Pittsburgh’s way of honoring the legendary Fred Rogers. And, in the Homewood neighborhood, visitors can immerse themselves in offerings curated through The Artwalk, a tour which connects new and existing murals, landmarks and businesses.

Just outside Pittsburgh are stunning examples of Frank Lloyd Wright's amazing architecture, including Fallingwater, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Kentuck Knob, as well as Mäntylä and the Duncan House, two Wright-designed homes where you can actually spend the night.