Originally published May 16, 2013
Born of Fire: Scenes of Industry brings together more than 20 paintings from the Westmoreland Museum of American Art’s collection of late 19th and early 20th century scenes of industry. The exhibit will be open at the Grohmann Museum, 1000 N. Broadway, from May 24 through Aug. 18.
Featured works capture the transformation of the American landscape from an agrarian society to an industrial one, interpreted in the work of both Pennsylvania and national artists celebrating industry as their subject. The Westmoreland is the largest repository of southwestern Pennsylvania art in the country and they share this exhibition with the hope of developing a new appreciation not just for the art of Pennsylvania, but other regions as well.
An opening reception will be held Friday, May 24 from 5 to 8 p.m. There will be a film presentation at 7 p.m. of Born of Fire: How Pittsburgh Built a Nation. The film explores the cultural exchanges that took place during the Big Steel Era through art, music, oral histories and social commentary.
The Grohmann Museum is home to the Man at Work collection, which comprises more than 900 paintings and sculptures dating from 1580 to the present. They reflect a variety of artistic styles and subjects that document the evolution of organized work: from farming and mining to trades such as glassblowing and seaweed gathering. The Grohmann Museum welcomes visitors to three floors of galleries where a core collection is displayed as well as themed exhibitions. The museum is owned by MSOE, an independent university with about 2,500 students. MSOE offers 20 bachelor’s degrees and nine master’s degrees in the engineering, business, mathematics and nursing fields.