Whenever I hear or read that a person doesn’t like museums, I mildly cringe. When they say that they get bored within 15 minutes of being in one, I’m at a loss. But then I remind myself that museums are more than anything else a subjective thing. What one person loves, another may not. Although the idea of going to a city like Paris or Madrid and not visiting iconic institutions like the Louvre or the Prado would have never crossed my mind, I’ve no doubt that innumerable travelers do journey to those cities and purposely never set foot inside those two cultural landmarks.
Earlier this year when my parents were visiting, we ventured to the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History. During my freshman year of college, I made three trips there in the course of one semester (three different classes), so after that I was definitely tired of the museum. In the rest of my college career I think I may have gone a couple of times more. But considering that I graduated from college seven years ago this April, it had been a while since I was back.
See, for someone like me who does like museums, I guess with all of my travels and visits to world renowned places, I became somewhat of a museum snob, casting my nose at Pittsburgh’s own art and science treasures. But my recent visit to the Carnegie reminded me that there are some pretty fantastic finds to be had right here.
It may not have as many Renoirs or Monets as say, a place like the Musee d’Orsay in Paris but what I think makes its collections so special are the works of the not-so famous artists, the ones whose incredible beauty and level of detail can’t be beat.
Like everything in Pittsburgh when compared with the rest of the country or even the world, works found at the Carnegie Museums are on a smaller scale. Its collection of stuffed animals and dinosaur bones are nowhere near as plentiful as those found at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C., but it doesn’t mean they aren’t as interesting. Its galleries of Impressionist works are decidedly less numerous than those found in some other art museums, but they have enough to matter.
If you’re a Pittsburgh resident and have either never been to the museums or haven’t visited in a long time, I encourage you to go. If you’re a non-resident and planning a trip to the city, definitely make time to visit. It will be worth your while.
Note: I had written this post back in April but for whatever reason never published it until now. Unfortunately in that time, there was a “kerfuffle” with a computer where I had uploaded the dozens of photos I took from the museum and in short, they were all lost. The one above was the only one I had uploaded elsewhere. But you’ll just need to take my word that the museums contain scores of beautiful pieces you will want to see in person.
Things to Remember:
The Museums are connected so one admission is for both the art and natural history museum
$14.95 (seniors, 65+)
$11.95 (students with ID and children 3-18)
The Museums are located in the city’s Oakland neighborhood
Friendly tip-leave plenty of time since the museums are a lot larger and more encompassing than they appear!