The Art Collecting of Pittsburgh’s Gilded-Age Titans

February 11, 2020
Speaker: Elizabeth Roark, Professor of Art History, Chatham University
This talk examines the collecting practices of Pittsburgh’s industrial age’s “big three”: Carnegie, Frick, and Mellon, and the impact it had had on the city (and beyond). Focusing primarily on their desire to advance Pittsburgh’s cultural profile, it explores their collecting philosophies and early purchases, the formation and character of their collections, and the art institutions they founded. It also provides insight more broadly into Pittsburgh’s art taste and period art installations.

Elizabeth (Beth) Roark is a Professor of Art History at Chatham University, where she has taught for 22 years.  She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and B.A. from Allegheny College where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Other awards include a Mellon Fellowship and a Smithsonian Pre-Doctoral Fellowship.  Beth has published and presented widely on colonial and nineteenth-century American art.  She has worked with the Carnegie Museum of Art, The Frick Pittsburgh, and wrote the entry on Andrew Mellon for the Grove Dictionary of Art.

Professor Roark has been a major friend of the SHHS.  This will be her fourth lecture to the Society and she has also either run or supported five of our walking tours over the years.

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