Senator John Heinz History Center
December 17—August 20, 2017
Various times

Move over Sixburgh, it’s time to usher in Pixburgh.

The fascinating people, places and events of Pittsburgh will be showcased when the Senator John Heinz History Center unveils its latest exhibition on Saturday, December 17. Focusing its lens on the Smithsonian-affiliated museum’s vast collection of historic and archival images, Pixburgh: A Photographic Experience will be on view through August 20, 2017.

Pittsburgh skyline, October 21, 1929.

Featuring nearly 400 photographs that have never before been displayed to the public, the major new exhibition explores our city’s identity “from the darkroom to the digital age.”

Starting with one of the very first “selfies” taken in Pittsburgh—the Gretton brothers image from 1882—to the billions of digital images that are now snapped and shared daily via social media, the captivating show culls works from the History Center’s massive vault of nearly one million photos.

From antique daguerreotypes to modern Polaroids, visitors will see photos representing a vast variety of subjects and time periods that explore the region’s identity via image-making—including turn-of-the-century mugshots, the 1960 World Series, 1936 St. Patrick’s Day Flood and Westinghouse Skybus.

Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw photographed in the 1970s by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette photographer Morris Berman.

Special highlights include the “Faces of Pittsburgh” display documenting the region’s racial, ethnic and religious diversity; images of iconic landmarks like the Point, Kaufmann’s Clock and Three Rivers Stadium; and pictures of Pittsburghers at work and play.

Don’t miss the hands-on children’s section and the special display dedicated to dogs, cats and beloved family pets.

Also featured will be artifacts on loan from the Smithsonian, such as a nine lens wet plate camera from the 1880s, and a sheet of uncut gem tintypes from 1870.

In the interactive areas, visitors can play the role of museum curator, guess dates and locations of historic images, see immersive slideshows, and gaze through an oversized lens to get a photographer’s viewpoint.

1936 St. Patrick’s Day Flood.

Have special photos to share?

The History Center invites Pittsburghers to sift through their photo albums, scan images, and scour their smartphones to find their favorite photos that capture their own authentic “Pittsburgh experience.” Visitors can then submit their original photos for inclusion within the #Pixburgh exhibit and as part of a special online photo gallery. To submit your photo, visit www.heinzhistorycenter.org/submit-your-pixburgh-photo.

Looking for more events? Check out our 10 Pittsburgh events not to miss in December and 10 great family adventures in Pittsburgh this December feature stories.

Jennifer Baron

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...