Research & Study
The University of Pittsburgh is a major research institution surrounded by other fine universities and by museums, libraries, and other cultural institutions—all of this is in a dynamic, affordable urban environment. More information about Pittsburgh.
Museums and galleries
The department’s University Art Gallery has a permanent collection of approximately 3,000 works and hosts two to three loan exhibitions per year. Recent exhibitions have featured nationally and internationally prominent contemporary artists.
Across the street from the department’s building is the Carnegie Museum of Art, which has a comprehensive art collection with particular strengths in 19th- and 20th-century art of the United States and Europe. Faculty and graduate students use the collection regularly for teaching and research purposes. The museum also houses the Heinz Architectural Center, which sponsors innovative exhibitions and programming on modern and contemporary architecture. The prestigious Carnegie International, an enormous contemporary art exhibition held at the museum every three or four years since the early 20th century, brings an influx of artists and critics from around the world.
A few minutes away by car or public transit are:
- The Andy Warhol Museum has recently transformed itself into a thriving center for contemporary art, media, and performance. It also houses a vast collection of Warhol’s art and film, and a unique archive on mid- to late-20th-century art, media, and culture.
- The Mattress Factory is a world-renowned gallery that commissions installation art from artists across the globe. It also contains a permanent collection with several works by James Turrell, among others.
- The Frick and Art Historical Center includes the Frick Art Museum, which has a small old masters collection and a thriving program of loan exhibitions. Also on site is the restored home of art collector Henry Clay Frick, which has an amazingly intact set of late-Victorian interiors along with a large collection of 19th-century painting and material culture.
- Frick Fine Arts Library: a premier research library located in the department’s own building. The library has a noncirculating collection of nearly 100,000 volumes plus more than 300 journal subscriptions.
- Carnegie Library: located across the street from the department. The library has particularly strong holdings in 19th-century material and rare architectural folios.
- East Asian Studies Library: located on the Pitt campus, it is one of the major East Asian collections in North America.
- Digital Research Library: part of the University Library System, it has growing holdings in a variety of subject areas from Stalinism to Chartres Cathedral.
The University of Pittsburgh has numerous interdisciplinary programs that enrich and support art-historical study. Graduate students in art history may earn certificates in most of these programs. A number of these programs also offer fellowships and awards that can support the work of students in art history.
The University Center for International Studies is a dynamic organization that includes federally funded area-studies centers that offer programs, certificates, and generous funding for graduate student language study. The area-studies centers are:
- Asian Studies Center
- Center for Latin American Studies
- Center for Russian and East European Studies
- Center for West European Studies
The Cultural Studies Program offers courses in critical theory as well as topics courses that often intersect with visual culture concerns. The program sponsors films, graduate student fellowships and symposia, and lectures by some of the best-known scholars working today.
Other interdisciplinary programs include:
Carnegie Mellon University, with its Center for Art and Society and its Studio for Creative Inquiry, is located nearby the University of Pittsburgh campus. Students may cross-register for courses offered there.
Pittsburgh is conveniently located near several other major city centers. Students take advantage of organized field trips and more informal visits to:
- Cleveland Museum of Art, a two-and-a-half hour drive
- Columbus’ Wexner Center for the Arts, a three-hour drive
- Buffalo’s Albright-Knox Art Gallery, a three-and-a-half hour drive
- Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, with their numerous museums and libraries, approximately four hours drive
- Philadelphia (a five-hour drive), New York City (a seven-hour drive), and Chicago (a seven-and-a-half hour drive)