Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pittsburgh and Johnstown...

Today we headed into the city and went around Pittsburgh. I've always wanted to explore the Mattress Factory. When I was in college in New York, they always talked about how it was such a unique museum that focused solely on installation art.

Above and to the left is a shot of the main building of the Mattress Factory Art Museum. The center image is a detail from the installation by Renee Piechocki. On the far right is a snapshot of Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Dots Mirrored Room.

Here are another few images from the collections of the Mattress Factory. To the left is a detail of Patricia Villalobos Echeverria's piece that is both on the outside and the inside of the secondary building. Also in the second building is a piece by Andrew Ellis Johnson. The image in the center of the roomful of cast marble. To the far right is an image of the gardens outside of the main building by Winifred Lutz. At first look, the yard looked like an empty lot, but upon closer examination, a complex garden unfolded. It was really interesting to see the excavation and explore the different levels.

One of the things that I noticed about a lot of the art is that it requires one's presence. I know that's the definition of installation art, but the art I saw was very much based in the moment, the tie between the audience and the work and how they interacted and related.

After The Mattress Factory, we walked across the park and headed over to the National Aviary to see some birds.

There was a really great penguin exhibit, with sections you could climb in and see the penguins close-up. I had an awesome time exploring the different geographically based rooms, like the rain forest and the Asian and African rooms. Outside they had a presentation with different birds called, Flight Zone. The highlight of the show is when the owl flew overhead and landed on a branch not far from my head! I LOVE OWLS!

Above are another sampling of birds found in the aviary. I didn't have time to write down any of the names. Anyone know which ones they are?

After a day in Pittsburgh, we headed over to Johnstown to explore the Inclined Plane (apparently it's the steepest in the world) and have dinner at the top of the hill.

Above is a shot of Johnstown from the top of the hill. The Inclined Plane connects downtown Johnstown with Westmont. In the center is a view of the rail on the Incline. When the floods came through the valley in the 30's and the 70's, apparently the inclined plane saved many lives. To the far right is a shot of the Relax-a-lator in the ticket and gift shop at the top of the hill. I popped a dime in and gave it a whirl! Boy did it vibrate! My calves are still tingling!

Above is a shot Johnstown at night from the top of the hill. The food at the City View was tasty and the views were just to die for.


Leslie @ Bei Mondi said...

I can't believe I've lived here for 7 years and I've never gone to the Mattress Factory. You have me intrigued now. Love the pictures as always.

SummersStudio said...

I'm on sensory overload just taking your mini-photo tour here. What a wonderful trip! I especially like the night view. All the lights are like stars.

Jeffrey @ the MF said...

Wow. Thanks so much for the kind words! Hope to see you at the museum again sometime soon!


jodi said...

The Mattress Factory is really cool. You'll have to check out the Warhol next time you make it to Pittsburgh. The Avairy has great programs, especially for kids.

TesoriTrovati said...

What a great trip! I love when you take us on these virtual tours with should consider taking us all on real tours to faraway places...I would totally sign on to that! Enjoy the day! Erin