• slide
  • slide
  • slide

Exhibits

shadow

For a complete lineup of exhibitions, please visit our full site.

Mazeroski Artifacts from the 1960 World Series
March 26 - May 1, 2014
Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, 2nd Floor

As the Pittsburgh Pirates begin their most anticipated season in more than 20 years, the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at the Senator John Heinz History Center is showcasing artifacts from one of the greatest moments in sports history – Bill Mazeroski’s ninth inning home run which beat the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series.

On loan from the Tull Family Collection, Mazeroski’s iconic Game 7 uniform and bat, which have never been on display locally with the exception of a short stint at PNC Park last September, is on view at the Sports Museum throughout the first month of the Pirates’ season, beginning Wed., March 26 through Thurs., May 1.

“We are thrilled that Pirates fans and visitors to the Heinz History Center will have an opportunity to see these important artifacts from the 1960 World Series,” said Thomas Tull, chairman and CEO of Legendary Entertainment and part of the Steelers ownership group. “With the excitement surrounding the current Pirates team, we felt the time was right to loan these objects to the History Center and hopefully educate a new generation of Pirates fans about this incredible moment in sports history.”

Mazeroski’s Pirates uniform and bronzed 35-inch Louisville Slugger bat is accompanied by several 1960 World Series items from the Sports Museum’s collection, including the pitching rubber from which New York Yankees pitcher Ralph Terry served up the historic round tripper to Maz, as well as the first base he touched before rumbling towards home plate alongside a crowd of jubilant Pirates fans at Forbes Field.

Also featured alongside the World Series artifacts is Dick Groat’s jersey from his 1960 Most Valuable Player season and a life-like museum figure of Mazeroski hitting the legendary home run.

Visitors to the 20,000 square-foot, two-floor Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum can see additional items from Pittsburgh’s storied baseball past, including game-used jerseys and equipment from Pirates Hall of Famers such as Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente, and Willie Stargell.

From Slavery to Freedom
Long-Term Exhibit
4th Floor

Presented by BNY Mellon
Funded by the U.S. Department of Education Underground Railroad Education and Cultural (URR) Program

Explore more than 250 years of African American history in the History Center’s new exhibition, From Slavery to Freedom. The long-term exhibit, presented by BNY Mellon, highlights the history of the anti-slavery movement, the Underground Railroad, and the impact of 19th century activism on the modern quest for civil and human rights in Pittsburgh.

Visitors to From Slavery to Freedom will immerse themselves in the evolution of the region's African American community, embarking on a journey that begins in 18th century Africa, crosses the Atlantic Ocean on a recreated slave ship, and ends in 21st century Western Pennsylvania.

The exhibit details the unexplored history of slavery, abolitionism, and the modern struggle for freedom using artifacts, immersive museum settings, rare documents, interactive activities, and audio/video components. From Slavery to Freedom connects the region's earliest African immigrants to the Civil Rights Movement of the late 1960s, and discusses today's hopes for freedom and equality.

Highlights of the From Slavery to Freedom exhibit include:

  • Three new lifelike museum figures, including one of Martin Delany, a prominent Pittsburgh abolitionist and the highest ranking African American officer in the Union Army during the Civil War
  • Nearly 60 manumission, indenture, and freedom papers from the History Center's Detre Library & Archives recently discovered by the Allegheny County Recorder of Deeds Office
  • A gourd fiddle from the 1850s, on loan from the Smithsonian Institution, that was created by enslaved Africans in America
  • Several 19th century paintings that depict everyday life for African slaves, including "Slaves Waiting for Sale," by Eyre Crow, on loan from the Heinz Family Foundation
  • Touch-screen interactive activities that allows visitors to explore Pittsburgh-area safe houses along the Underground Railroad

From Slavery to Freedom has won major international awards, including American Association for State and Local History, Leadership in History Award for 2013, and African Diaspora World Tourism, Flame Keepers Award for cultural exhibition 2013.

Contact

For more information, photos, and events related to From Slavery to Freedom, please contact Samuel W. Black, director of African American Programs at the History Center, at 412-454-6391 or swblack@heinzhistorycenter.org.

Unconquered: History Meets Hollywood at Fort Pitt
Aug. 10, 2013 - Aug. 3, 2014
Fort Pitt Museum

This year marks the 250th anniversary of Pontiac's Rebellion and the siege of Pittsburgh. To commemorate the anniversary, the Fort Pitt Museum presents Unconquered: History Meets Hollywood at Fort Pitt, a new exhibition sponsored by the Laurel Foundation that explores the historical events of the siege as well as its Hollywood depiction in the star-studded 1947 Cecil B. DeMille film.

Using rarely seen original movie props, photographs, and costumes alongside authentic 18th century artifacts and documents, the Unconquered exhibit examines this turning point in American history and encourages visitors to compare and contrast the historical events with the Hollywood depiction.

Exhibit Highlights

The Unconquered: History Meets Hollywood at Fort Pitt exhibit features nearly two dozen items related to the movie and its premiere, including:

  • Two 18th century pistols used by actor Gary Cooper that were owned by DeMille
  • Royal American Regiment uniforms worn by actors Henry Wilcoxon and Lloyd Bridges
  • Costumes worn by actors Alan Napier and Howard Da Silva
  • Several American Indian-related props, including knives and tomahawks
  • Various publicity stills, including some owned by DeMille, itineraries, and newspaper clippings from the film’s Pittsburgh premiere
  • Original bubble machine, developed by William Penn Hotel engineer Ludwig Demoshek for the movie's premiere, which was later made famous by the "Lawrence Welk Show" (on loan for three weeks in August)

In addition to original movie props and costumes, the Unconquered exhibit will also feature original materials from Pontiac's Rebellion and the Battle of Bushy Run, including a pipe tomahawk made by local blacksmith John Frazier, Scottish swords and pistols, and never before seen documents.

The Siege of Pittsburgh

For just over two months in the summer of 1763, Fort Pitt and Pittsburgh were attacked by American Indians participating in a broader movement known as Pontiac's Rebellion. Angered by restrictive British policies following the French & Indian War and the increasing number of settlers crossing the Allegheny Mountains, a widespread American Indian uprising began in the late spring of 1763 throughout the Great Lakes Region. Taking its name from the warrior leading the siege at Detroit, Pontiac's Rebellion was successful in capturing all but a few of the British forts in the area. Fort Pitt survived the siege following a decisive victory by Col. Henry Bouquet at the Battle of Bushy Run in early August.

Cecil B. DeMille's "Unconquered"

In 1947, the story of the siege was made famous in the epic action-romance film "Unconquered," which was directed by Cecil B. DeMille, the Hollywood pioneer and director of more than 70 epic films including such classics as "Cleopatra" and "The Ten Commandments."

"Unconquered" features an ensemble cast of legendary actors and actresses at the peak of their careers during Hollywood's "Golden Age," including Gary Cooper, Paulette Goddard, Boris Karloff, Lloyd Bridges, and Howard Da Silva.

The movie premiered at the Loew's Penn Theatre (today's Heinz Hall) and featured all of the accompanying Hollywood fanfare, including one of the largest parades in Pittsburgh history, complete with covered wagons, Seneca Indians, Pa. Governor James Duff, Mayor David Lawrence, and Cecil B. DeMille.

Admission

The Fort Pitt Museum, located in historic Point State Park, is one of the most affordable family-friendly cultural attractions in the region. Admission is just $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for children ages 6-17, students, and military, and free for History Center members and children under the age of 5.

The "Unconquered" movie will be screened on select weekends in the Fort Pitt Museum auditorium throughout the run of the exhibit.

Poptastic! The Art of Burton Morris
Sept. 15, 2013 – April 27, 2014
4th Floor Community Gallery

Artist Burton Morris puts an energetic and colorful spin on today's culture. In his post-Pop style, Morris boldly projects an enticing mood of high energy and optimism portraying images that people relate to in everyday life.

The 3,000-square-foot Poptastic! The Art of Burton Morris exhibition, presented by Dollar Bank, is the first retrospective of Morris' work.v

Poptastic! The Art of Burton Morris features more than 100 works of art including early art and drawings from Morris' childhood, signature painted works, product lines such as his Pittsburgh ties, sculptural work, and interactive works of art developed in conjunction with the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University.

Born in Pittsburgh and trained at Carnegie Mellon University, Morris was inspired by comic strips and magazines as a child, and later found himself drawn to the art of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselmann, and Red Grooms.

Morris first gained national attention in the mid-1990s when his artwork was chosen to hang on the set of the NBC hit television series "Friends." Over the years, his artwork has been selected for the 76th Academy Awards®, the Paris World Cup Soccer Games, the 38th Montreux Jazz Festival, the 2004 Summer Olympic Games, and the 2006 MLB All-Star Game.

He has created signature artwork for some of the most popular international brands, including Absolut Vodka, the H.J. Heinz Company, Chanel, the Kellogg's Corporation, and Pop Tarts. Morris' artwork has also helped to raise millions of dollars for charities worldwide.

Poptastic! The Art of Burton Morris chronicles Morris' career and his impact on the Pop Art movement, as well as casting an energized, fresh vision of this region to the world through the Pittsburgh icons that Morris reinterprets.

The History Center is the first Pittsburgh museum to do a major exhibition of Morris' work.

Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation
Long-Term Exhibit
2nd & 3rd Floors

Discover the Pittsburghers who have changed the world. From George Ferris’ amazing revolving wheel and Frank Conrad’s first commercial radio station to Jonas Salk’s invention of the polio vaccine, Pittsburgh has a tradition of innovation like no other place in the world. Dozens of interactive activities throughout this two-floor exhibition allow the whole family to feel Pittsburgh Proud.

Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum
Long-Term Exhibit
2nd & 3rd Floors

Enjoy the works of Maz and Mario. Art and Arnie. Roberto and Franco. Suzie and Swin. Relive the moments that made them great. The Immaculate Reception. The Home Run. Olympic gold. Super Bowls. Stanley Cups. The Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, a state-of-the-art museum-within-a-museum at the Senator John Heinz History Center, features a stunning collection of one-of-a-kind sports artifacts and interactive exhibits that celebrate the rich tradition of sports in our region.

SmartSteps
Long-Term Exhibit
Museum Stairwell

The History Center and UPMC Health Plan encourage museum visitors to climb the stairs and blend health and history with the SmartSteps exhibition. Enjoy colorful murals with wellness tips, health information, and unique facts about Pittsburgh history that encourage visitors on their way to fitness. Take the stairs to all six levels of the History Center and be rewarded with a complimentary collectible Heinz pickle pin.

Heinz 57
Long-Term Exhibit
4th Floor

Explore the remarkable history of Pittsburgh’s H.J. Heinz Company through hundreds of innovative products, vintage TV ads, and a recreated 1950s diner. In addition to the Heinz 57 exhibition, visitors will also enjoy the legendary Heinz Hitch in the History Center's Great Hall as well as the 42-foot high pouring neon ketchup sign on the museum's facade.

Glass: Shattering Notions
Long-Term Exhibit
4th Floor

Glass: Shattering Notions showcases Pittsburgh’s reign as America’s Glass City with artifacts and activities honoring 200 years of regional glass making. Interactive activities illustrate Pittsburgh’s role in glass production, how glass can “bend” light to make objects appear smaller or larger, and much more.

Special Collections Gallery
Long-Term Exhibit
4th Floor

Pittsburgh’s sleekest exhibition gallery houses
 more than 3,000 artifacts illustrating 
the rich ethnic and corporate fabric of the Pittsburgh region. Celebrate everything that makes Pittsburgh unique, from an Alcoa aluminum bikini designed by Oscar de la Renta, to a magnificent 10-foot-tall stained glass window and elaborate gowns from the 19th century. Audio players featuring Pittsburgh personalities help to tell the stories of each item.

Clash of Empires: The British, French & Indian War, 1754-1763
Long-Term Exhibit
5th Floor

Experience the dramatic, wide-ranging story of the French & Indian War and its impact
 as a turning point in American 
history. Featuring a series of nine amazing life-like figures, representing the war’s most fascinating characters, this exhibition helps to bring the pre-Revolutionary period to life, during what Winston Churchill
 called “the first World War.”

Pittsburgh’s Lost Steamboat: Treasures of the Arabia
Opens April 26, 2014
Senator John Heinz History Center

In early 2014, the History Center will unveil a rare time capsule of American history as part of a new exhibition on the Steamboat Arabia, a river boat built in Pittsburgh.

In the fall of 1856, the Steamboat Arabia was heading up the Missouri River when it struck a tree snag and sank near Kansas City, Mo. More than 130 years later, a group of modern-day adventurers discovered the steamboat buried beneath a Kansas cornfield with many of the 200 tons of supplies in perfect condition, including fine dishware, clothing, and bottled food.

In partnership with the Steamboat Arabia Museum in Kansas City, the Pittsburgh’s Lost Steamboat: Treasures of the Arabia exhibition will showcase more than 1,000 objects from the Arabia collection, including many items which were made in Pittsburgh. Using artifacts, images, and interactive experiences, the exhibit will examine frontier life, the steamboat era, and the importance of the rivers during a key period of exploration in American history.

World War II, the Greatest Generation, and the JEEP: An American Original
Opens November 2015
Senator John Heinz History Center

The History Center will premiere a 7,500-square-foot exhibit focused on the generation that saved the world for democracy with special emphasis on the people of Pittsburgh on the home, industrial, and battle fronts. This exhibition will also explore the history of the Jeep, a uniquely American invention – born of necessity in western Pennsylvania on the eve of WWII.

The exhibit will feature oral histories, artifacts, and stories of Pittsburgh people as well as the prototype Bantam jeep (currently on loan from the Smithsonian). The exhibit will follow the evolution of the Jeep from its birth here at the American Bantam Car Company in Butler. This innovative vehicle influenced the outcome of the war and impacted American consumer culture.