Westmoreland Museum of American Art Presents They Practice What They Teach: Artist Faculty of Carnegie Institute of Technology

The Westmoreland Museum of American Art presents They Practice What They Teach: Artist Faculty of Carnegie Institute of Technology on view through September 4, 2011.

Robert Lepper, Study for the mural at the Mineral Industries Building West Virgina University. Collection of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art

A degree from Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) came with a high degree of prestige. Edmund Ashe, Clarence Carter, Esther Topp Edmonds, Balcomb Greene, Robert Gwathmey, Roy Hilton, Alexander Kostellow, Robert Lepper, Norwood MacGilvary, Wilfred Readio, Samuel Rosenberg, Raymond Simboli, Russell Twiggs and Everett Warner were among the artists who dedicated a portion of their artistic careers to teaching in the Department of Fine Arts at Carnegie Tech. Organized by The Westmoreland, They Practice What They Teach: Artist Faculty of Carnegie Institute of Technology highlights the work of these artists while at the same time celebrates over a quarter-century of art-making in Pittsburgh.

The Westmoreland Museum of American Art was established in 1949 at the bequest of Mary Marchand Woods, a long time resident of Greensburg interested in the arts. This visionary founder bequeathed her entire estate in order for the Museum facility to be built in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, 35 miles east of Pittsburgh. In 1959, the Museum opened its doors to the public, and its focus became the collection and exhibition of American and southwestern Pennsylvania art.

According to Westmoreland’s Chief Curator Barbara L. Jones, “The idea for this exhibition came out of my research for the Samuel Rosenberg exhibition Portrait of a Painter held here in 2003. While reviewing files in the archives of Carnegie Mellon University, I repeatedly came across names of other artists who were teaching at Carnegie Institute of Technology at the same time as Rosenberg. I thought this concentration of artists offered a great opportunity to highlight the talent that practiced there during the first half of the twentieth century. The title came from an article entitled “They Practice What They Teach” about Carnegie Tech faculty written by Jeanette Jena for Carnegie Magazine in 1951.”

The Museum has a special offer for those who teach: teachers can show their ID and receive free admission and a 10% discount in the shop during the run of the exhibition.

About They Practice What They Teach
The 15 artists in this exhibition influenced myriad students, many of whom to this day still remember the specific role each faculty member played in their artistic development, recalling exact lessons or advice given to them by their teachers. Each one had his or her unique impact through their varied approaches to teaching, their stylistic diversity in their own art, and their attitudes. The fact that all faculty members in the department were practicing artists was an inspiration to their students, many of whom are artists that became teachers themselves. Having studios on the top floor of the same building where the classes were held made the artists easily accessible to their students while at the same time, allowed them to concentrate on their own art-making when time permitted. Most however, concentrated their efforts during the summer months, when they had consecutive months of free time.

This exhibition not only pays tribute to the artists represented, but to those countless numbers who have chosen this path in their own careers.

Westmoreland Museum of American Art
221 North Main Street
Greensburg, PA 15601
724/837-1500 phone
724/837-2921 fax

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