Courtesy Senator John Heinz History Center.

Senator John Heinz History Center
Long-term exhibition
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

While they are vast repositories of rare and valuable art and artifacts, most of the world’s museums only put a fraction of their collections on view for the public. Take our own Senator John Heinz History Center, where only about 15% of the museum’s more than one million objects are on view.

Thanks to the new Visible Storage collection, now open in the 4th floor Sigo Falk Collections Center, the public can now see more than 1,200 rare artifacts—including many that have never before been on display.

Courtesy Senator John Heinz History Center.
Courtesy Senator John Heinz History Center.

Providing an unprecedented snapshot of how the museum preserves, collects and interprets Western Pennsylvania history, the unique long-term display features everything from household appliances, silver and toys, to glass, armaments and paintings.

Visitors will get to see George and Marguerite Westinghouse’s Tiffany china, priceless Lenox china and glass owned and used by Presidents Reagan, Clinton and Bush, and even Arnold Palmer’s childhood teddy bear.

Spanning a wide range of industries, eras and popular culture trends, Visible Storage also features a Westinghouse electric car from the 1960s, a 1939 Bantam Speedster, a bumper car from White Swan Park, Civil War-era bonnets, and much more.

Military history buffs will love seeing the collection of Western Pennsylvania long rifles, Civil War swords, WWII-era pistols, and a Thompson machine gun used by the Pittsburgh Police. Artwork is also included within Visible Storage, where museum-goers can view paintings by renowned regional artists such as A. H. Gorson, John Kane, Russell Smith and Burton Morris.

Watch museum professionals in action as they process new artifacts and prepare them for exhibit in the on-site photography studio and mount-making workshop.

Recently opened in the LEED Gold certified Museum Conservation Center, Visible Storage can be accessed via the sky bridge across Mulberry Way from the Special Collections Gallery.

Looking for more events? Read our 10 Pittsburgh events not to miss in February feature.

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.