News & Events



Schenley Plaza Opens

Schenley Plaza, a $10 million urban greenspace project sponsored by the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and designed by Sasaki Associates of Watertown, Mass., formally opened June 8 to great fanfare. Formerly a parking lot, the plaza is now the extended front yard of the Frick Fine Arts building; the major pathway through the plaza is directly on axis with the fountain in front of our building. The plaza contains extensive new alleys of London plane trees, a large lawn, native ground covers, and sophisticated soil drainage systems. It also features four new food kiosks with moveable folding chairs. an entertainment area, carousel, restaurant site, and a series of outdoor garden "rooms" with curved wooden benches.

In September the University Art Gallery will open an exhibition, From Pavement to Paradise: The Urban Evolution of Schenley Plaza, which will document and discuss the environmental and design history of the site over the past century.

Pitt Freshman has Unique Research Experience

Prof. Kathleen Christian writes, "For the 'First Experiences in Research' program, freshman student Lynn Tan assisted me in making a map of antiquities collections in Renaissance Rome. These family collections are well known to scholars by name, but I was hoping to use a map to help clarify their position in the city. When someone walked through Renaissance Rome, especially along the city's main processional route, they would have glimpsed and sometimes been able to visit private antiquities collections inside these houses. We wanted to ask: what would it have been like to walk around Rome and experience these collections, which have now all disappeared from the landscape? Tan first made a high-quality scan of Giambattista Nolli's 1748 map of Rome, then pinpointed the location of sculpture collections on this map. She was able to visualize how particular areas were densely populated with important sculpture collections. In the meantime, Tan became very curious about the changing representation of Rome's topography over the centuries. We ended the semester, appropriately, with a spectacular flight over Rome on Google Earth!"

Recent faculty achievements and publications

  • Kathy Linduff is the winner of a 2006 Provost's Award for Mentoring Excellence, one of four exceptional faculty at the University of Pittsburgh to be so honored.  Her mentoring skills have long been legendary in this department, and her students' accomplishments are equally extraordinary.  Over the past decade she has graduated and successfully placed over ten PhD students, and she has seven more currently in the pipeline.  Most of these students are actively publishing research scholars who are making important contributions to early Chinese studies. For more information Pitt Chronicle: May 15, 2006: Four Professors Honored for Mentoring Doctoral Students.
  • Barbara McCloskey's book Artists of World War II (Greenwood), a comparative study of artists and movements from Europe, Russia, Asia, and the United States, received special commendation from Choice magazine: "excellent, thought-provoking art history.  Highly recommended."
More faculty achievements »

Graduate Student Symposium a success

The Department of History of Art and Architecture and the Cultural Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh hosted a national graduate symposium, Natural Selections: Art and Exchange with the Natural World. The symposium was a joint venture with Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, which opened the exhibition "Fierce Friends: Artists & Animals in the Industrial Era, 1750–1900" on March 25, 2006. Professor Claudia Swan of Northwestern was the keynote speaker. For a complete program click here.

Recent graduate student achievements and publications

  • Kate Dimitrova is in Paris on a two-year predoctoral fellowship from the Kress Foundation, doing research for her dissertation, "The Passion of Christ in Late Medieval Tapestries."
  • April Eisman recently completed a fellowship from the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies and has published an article, "Eine ‘US-Amerikanische’ Sicht auf Bernhard Heisig,” in Gestern und in dieser Zeit – Bernhard Heisig zum Achzigsten (Leipzig: Faber and Faber Verlag, 2005). Her article "Playing with the Political: Feng Mengbo and 'Streetfigher IV'" appeared in the March issue of Yishu, Journal of Contemproary Chinese Art.
  • Kristen Harkness is in Moscow on a Fulbright predoctoral fellowship, doing research for her dissertation, "'In a Certain Land': Fairy Tales and Identity in Fin-de-Siècle Russian Art."
  • Gerald Hartnett won the University of Pittsburgh's Film Studies prize for best graduate student essay for his paper, "On the Origins of Détournment: Guy Debord's Historical Menagerie, 1954-1956."
  • Karla Huebner is in Prague on a Fulbright-Hays predoctoral fellowship, doing research for her dissertation, "Eroticism, Identity, and Cultural Context: Toyen and the Czech Avant-Garde."
  • Kathy Johnston-Keane presented at the Middle Atlantic Symposium in the History of Art, National Gallery of Art, Center for Advanced study in the Visual Arts University of Maryland “Caravaggio’s Theaters of Memory: The Counter-Reformation, Early Italian Drama, and the Visual Arts,” March-April 2006.

More graduate student achievements »

Recent undergraduate student achievements

  • Gretchen Manthey was awarded third place in the 2006 Women’s Studies Undergraduate Research Paper Prize Competition for her paper “Lara de’ Dianti and the Depiction of Renaissance Mistresses.” The competition committee received a record number of entry papers, but singled Manthey’s work out, praising it for its "detailed close reading of the paintings” and "good use of art criticism to enhance … analysis.” Reviewers also commended the paper for its historical analysis, finding Manthey’s exploration of a Titian work especially interesting.

  • Jamie Davis was the winner of the 2005 Friends of the Frick Fine Arts Writing Award, given to the best undergraduate research paper in History of Art and Architecture, for her paper on C.D. Friedrich's Chasseur in the Forest, written under the supervision of Gretchen Bender.

  • Ellen Durning was accepted into the internship program this summer at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Sante Fe , New Mexico.
  • Christopher Guignon (Architectural Studies, 2005) was accepted into the M.Arch program at MIT with a scholarship.
  • Meghan Krikorian was accepted into Drexel University's Creative Arts Therapy Program.
  • Nancy Luckett received a $4000 scholarship form the Nationality Rooms to travel to France this summer.
  • Meghan Meyers (Architectural Studies, 2005) was admitted into the M.Arch program at Georgia Tech in Atlanta.
  • Sara Reed was accepted into the Masters program in Historic Preservation at the Savannah College of Art and Design with a scholarship.
  • Emily Schantz has just won a special commendation from the faculty of History of Art and Architecture for her accomplishments as a graduating senior.
  • Ryan Simmons participated in the Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Poster fair on April 3, presenting his senior thesis work on Michael Heizer, which is being supervised by Kirk Savage. He also delivered a paper on Turner's Slave Ship and its American reception to the University of West Virginia Undergraduate Research Symposium.
  • Curt Riegelnegg delivered a talk on his senior honors thesis paper (written under the supervision of Barbara McCloskey) in early April on Paul Klee and Northern Africa at "Europe: East and West," an Undergraduate Research Symposium sponseored by the Center for West European Studies and the Center for Russian and East European Studies. He is the winner of the 2006 Haskins award given to the most distinguished graduating senior in the History of Art and Architecture Department, and the winner of the 2005 Ossip Undergraduate Writing Award (in Research Writing) for his essay, "Direction and Dictation in 'The Beheading of St. John the Baptist,'" written under the supervision of Prof. Ann Harris.



Saturday, October 7, 2006
10:00 AM

"A Walking Tour of Schenley Park"

Albert D. Kollar, Geologist and Collections Manager, Section of Invertebrate Paleontology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Thursday, October 5, 2006
6:00 PM

"Pittsburgh Geology as seen in the art of John Kane"
University Art Gallery, Frick Fine Arts

Albert D. Kollar, Geologist and Collections Manager, Section of Invertebrate Paleontology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Friday, September 27, 2006
6:00 - 10:00 PM

"Welcome and Information Event for Current and Prospective Majors"
Frick Fine Arts Auditorium and Cloister

Presentations by Drew Armstrong (director), faculty, and representatives of the Architecture Club; food and architecture movie to follow.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006
6:00 PM

"Water and the City: The Regent Square Gateway Project for Frick Park"
University Art Gallery, Frick Fine Arts

Speakers: Michele Adams, Principal Engineer, Cahill Associates and Marijke Hecht, Executive Director, Nine Mile Run Watershed Association

Thursday, September 21, 2006
4:00 PM

"Genetic Diversity of the London Plane trees in Schenley Plaza and What it Means to You!"
University Art Gallery, Frick Fine Arts

Dr. Cynthia M. Morton, Associate Curator of Botany, Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Philip J. Gruszka, Director of Parks Management and Maintenance Policies, Pittsburgh Park Conservancy

Friday, Spetember 15 , 2006
5:30 - 8:00 PM

Exhibit Opening
University Art Gallery, Frick Fine Arts

The University Art Gallery will open an exhibition, From Pavement to Paradise: The Urban Evolution of Schenley Plaza, which will document and discuss the environmental and design history of the site over the past century.

Thursday, August 31, 2006
5:30 PM

Departmental Reception for New Graduate Students

Frick Fine Arts Building - Cloister



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