Art Institute of Pittsburgh hosts Blast from the Past
"Who's here from the class of '21• How about '22?" quipped alumni Joseph Hajnas as he addressed more than 250 artifiles celebrating the 88-year history of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh during the opening reception for the Portraits of the Past gallery exhibition on Friday.
"I'm from the class of '53 ... I'm a relic!" he laughed.
Ahh, we're always such suckers for anything (or anyone!) that make us wax nostalgic! Perusing the collection was like taking a fantabulous trip back through the good ol' days; a visual history lesson that is told through a fun and eclectic mix of photographs, paintings, sketches, commercials, artifacts and ephemera that represent art from every decade the institute has been in existence since 1921 when it first opened its doors as the Artists League of Pittsburgh.
Designed to toast the launch of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, the first published history of the school since its founding (proceeds will help fund student scholarships), both the book and the exhibit paint the full picture through pieces of art discovered in the attics, drawers, scrapbooks, albums and boxes of former students, instructors and friends of the institute.
"We had no idea how much fun we would have ... it's been like a giant treasure hunt for us!" mused co-authors Jacquelyn Felix Fisher and E.W. Goodman .
A treasure hunt that dusted off some long-forgotten gems including a daily journal written by late founder Willis Shook , the school's original logo design, film from a 1937 silent movie of students and instructors, and even a 16mm movie projector.
Talk about a major archaeological find. Tangible proof that life did, indeed, exist before the digital age!
"Most of our students wouldn't even know what it was," laughed Jacquelyn.
Brushing through time were emcee Chris Fennimore of WQED; AIP prez George Pry ; Dr. Willis Shook III (grandson of late founder); Nicole and Caitlin Shook ; Willis Shook IV ; board chair Marylouise Fennell; Sharon Fross; Malinda Hallett; Carrie Butler; Michele Bamburak; Alberta Certo; Sally Cruz; John Franke; Norm Huelsman; Angela Jedrzejek; Renee McCafferty; Patty Nagle; Sara Rathburn; Flavia Zortea; Martha Rial; Harry and Rene Smail; Lewis Ferguson; Nick and Heather Bonaroti; Shelia Sweeney; Jennifer Cooper; Wendy Driscoll; Sharon Lehr; Gigi Healy; Pam Coudriet and Erik Arroyo; Jake Liefer ; and Patience and Mike Celender .
Portraits of the Past
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Portraits of the Past benefit held at the school, Friday, December 11, 2009.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins GM Rutherford ‘wouldn’t make’ Despres trade today
- Starkey: Kang story of the year for Pirates
- Ex-S. Allegheny teacher held on sex assault counts
- Propel sixth-graders chronicle McKeesport history for younger peers
- Edwards leads Deer Lakes softball into WPIAL title game
- Overhaul for Penn State board of trustees proposed
- Healthy defensive back Mitchell eager for 2nd season with Steelers
- Pittsburgh bicyclist pedaling for pets
- Ford City told to correct problems with pension plan language
- IRS cybersecurity breach touches lives of homebuyers, others
- Late goal gives Riverhounds victory over Tampa Bay in U.S. Open Cup