A trip to the museum is far from a stodgy affair in Pittsburgh. Check out some of the most unusual museum exhibits this fall in the old Steel City for history with a side of some serious fun. The choices range from Dracula to steel mills and from World’s Fairs to inflatable tunnels.
“Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs, 1851–1939”
Heinz Galleries at the Carnegie Museum of Art
4400 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Date: Oct. 13 to Feb. 24
Price: $17.95 adults/$14.95 seniors 65 and older/$11.95 students and children 3 to 18/free for members and children younger than 3
“Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs, 1851 to 1939″ previews 200 art objects from World’s Fairs. Be sure to visit the 1933 Century of Progress International Exposition in Chicago to see the Westinghouse Radio Broadcasting Panel. It reads “Radio Broadcasting As Initiated By KDKA Has Made The Whole World A Neighborhood – 1920.” Lynn Zelevansky, director of the museum says the exhibit exemplifies inventive design, a marriage of art, science and technology. It showcases how technology improves the human condition.
“Men Behind the Masks”
945 Liberty Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Date: October and November
Price: $5 adults/$1 children 6 to 13/free for children younger than 5
Explore the actors behind the masks as well, and the history of horror on film through the eyes of one of its most terrifying icons, Doug Bradley. The exhibit will feature Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolfman and the Mummy alongside modern incarnations of terror such as Jason, Freddie and Pinhead. Art styles in “Men Behind the Masks” vary from realistic portrayals to campy cartoons. Throughout the exhibition, special programs, screenings and more will be presented, including Halloween parties for both kids and adults.
“Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame”
Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at the Senator John Heinz History Center
1212 Smallman St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Date: Oct. 6 to Jan. 6
Price: $10 adults/$9 senior citizens 62 and older/$5 students and children 6 to 17/free for members and children younger than 5
Debuting in Pittsburgh before its next stop at Superbowl XLVII in New Orleans is the most comprehensive exhibit ever put together about America’s favorite sport: football. Many of the artifacts, photos and documents in the exhibit have never been seen outside of the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Highlights include: Pro Football’s birth certificate, Knute Rockne’s 1919 helmet, Johnny “Blood” McNally’s canvas football pants, highlights from NFL’s greatest running backs including Pitt’s own Tony Dorsett, Franco Harris’ cleats, Lynn Swan’s 1978 game football and Art Rooney’s elevator console from the immaculate reception. This is your chance to try on vintage pads and helmets or step into an interactive replay booth to make the right call.
Related: Best Museums in Pittsburgh
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
10 Children’s Way
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Dates: Oct. 6 to Feb. 3
Price: $13 adults/$12 children 2 to 8 and seniors/free for children younger than 2
Returning for an encore this fall is Cuban-born artist Felipe Dulzaides’ “Missing Links.” The mixed-media exhibit integrates murals, inflatable tunnels, animation, video and vinyl text. Bounce jump and roll down a 30-foot inflatable tunnel that runs through all three floors of the museum for kid-friendly, artistic fun like your family has never seen.
“Jones and Laughlin Steel Company”
Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area
The Bost Building
623 E. Eighth Ave.
Homestead, PA 15120
Date: opens Oct. 15
Price: $3 adults/$1 children younger than 14/free for members
Explore the history of the Jones and Laughlin Steel Company, located on the Monongahela River, where the Southside Works shopping center is currently located. Founded in 1851 as the American Iron Company, it was renamed Jones And Laughlin in 1861 after changes in ownership. By 1905, a second plant bearing the same name was built in Aliquippa. The exhibit will explore the mill company’s long tenure in the Pittsburgh region through an extensive collection of photos, company memorabilia, letters and J&L-related items.