Sarah Hall
Sarah Hall2
Photo by Jamie Gruzska.

Director of curatorial affairs at The Frick Pittsburgh, Sarah recently oversaw the museum’s installation of Rolling Hills, Satanic Mills: The British Passion for Landscape, on view through August 2nd (read more about that here). Sarah shares her week, amidst big plans underway at the Frick, including an expansion and re-opening of the Car and Carriage Museum this fall and the creation of a new collections storage facility.

Monday, May 18

My days generally start with a homemade vegan smoothie, and I’m in the office by 8:30 a.m. Monday is the day museum people (if they work at a museum closed Mondays) try to stay in the building and get things done. Today, the orchestrion is being tuned at Clayton—our specialist drives in twice a year from Baltimore to adjust the automated instrument when major seasonal shifts cause humidity fluctuation. We also have our regular meeting of curatorial and facilities staff to review projects related to the physical upkeep of Clayton.

After work, Mondays are violin days in our family. My son takes lessons through The Pittsburgh Music Academy. After his lesson we’ll head to Regent Square for Thai Food (his favorite) at Thai Cottage restaurant—close to home and delicious.

Tuesday, May 19

The Frick is observing International Museum Day today—free admission—so it’s a great day to visit Clayton if you never have. Beyond regularly scheduled meetings, it’s a quiet day for me. I’ll probably pick up lunch at a nearby place with good vegetarian food—like the East End Food Co-op, Make Your Mark, or Biddle’s Escape.

Wednesday, May 20 

It’s my husband Jamie’s birthday on Friday—and if I still need to do a little shopping I’ll sneak out today at lunch. He wants me to buy lots of inexpensive vinyl at Jerry’s. I’ll probably also check out some of his favorite places like Penhollows and Le Mix. And, if you know my husband, you know I’ll probably also pick up a nice bottle of red wine or gin.

Thursday, May 21

Today, I get to eat at the wonderful Café at the Frick. We’re having our annual docent appreciation lunch. The Frick Art Museum docents are volunteers who put in many hours of preparation for their tours—once a year we relax at the Café and chat together. Most of the time we are intently studying!

In the evening Jamie and I are going to Culture Club at the Carnegie Museum of Art where they are screening Tracing Outlines, a documentary about cutting-edge Pittsburgh art gallery Outlines, which operated in the 1940s.

Friday, May 22

Well, it’s here, Jamie’s birthday. Since I am the night person in the family, I’ll try not to be grumpy in the morning on this special day, and since he’s off, I’ve reserved him some time for lunch. I’m not sure yet whether we’ll go out (D’s SixPax & Dogz for a veggie dog?) or rendezvous at home, while the teen son is at school.

After work, we’ll have a drink on The Frick Art Museum terrace—which has a wine bar on Friday evenings during the run of the British landscape exhibition. Jamie has asked for a low-key day (with lots of vintage vinyl, did I mention that?) so dinner will be relaxed vegetarian fare at Zenith on the South Side—one of our old favorites. We’ll wrap up the birthday evening with Accordion Plus: Living Room Concert #39a hosted by the Living Room Chamber Music Project at James Simon’s sculpture studio in Uptown.

Saturday, May 23

Weekends when we’re not traveling are catch up time—is there food in the house? Are there any clean clothes? And this Saturday, is our first in town during farmer’s market season. We have vowed to not miss a week when we are in town. I’ll take my chic little semi-pretentious basket along to fill with fresh, local goodies. Last year, my teenager developed a taste for Zeke’s Coffee. Saturday is also library day. One of the things I have loved about raising my son in Edgewood is that just about everyone who works at CC Mellor Memorial Library knows him by name and has watched him grow up. It’s also within walking distance of our house.

Sunday, May 24

You may have noticed that none of these entries have said “go for a run” or “hit the gym.” My husband and I both exercise at home, but weather permitting, this is the day to get the bikes out. For the first ride, we’ll go easy on our winter bodies, and either spend an hour or so on flatter trails in Frick Park, or try a section of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail.

Jennifer BaronArts & Entertainment / Jobs Editor

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.