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  • Carnegie Museum of Natural HistoryCarnegie Museum of Natural History Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    The Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was started by the Pittsburgh-based industrialist, Andrew Carnegie in 1896 and continues to maintain an international reputation for research, ranking it one of the top five natural history museums in the nation, with 115,000 square feet of exhibit space that has been organized into 20 galleries along with office space, research and library areas. There about 21 million specimens located there, with only 10,000 objects shown any time and about a million catalogued for the online databases. It would welcome 386,300 visitors in 2008, with 63,000 children coming in to visit in school groups. It made history in 1899, when their scientists would discover the fossils of the diplodocus carnegii, and currently contains the world's biggest collection of Jurassic dinosaurs and the third biggest collection of mounted, exhibited dinosaurs in the nation. Some of the well known specimens include the skull of Samson, the most entire tyrannosaurus rex skull that has been found to date and a new, yet to be named, species of oviraptorosaur; as well as the just recently uncovered fruitafosor windscheffeli. The other significant displays include the Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems, Polar World: Wyckoff Hall of Arctic Life, the Alcoa Foundation Hall of American Indians, the Benedum Hall of Geology, the Powder Mill Nature Reserve, that had been started by the museum in 1956 to serve as a field station for the long-term studies of natural populations and the Walton Hall of Ancient Egypt. The research staff has been divided up into various departments that include; vertebrate paleontology, anthropology, Powdermill Nature Reserve, invertebrate paleontology, conservation, birds, minerals, herpetology, invertebrate zoology, mollusks, paleobotany and mammals. The Dinosaurs in Their Time has become the first permanent exhibition in the entire world that showcases the scientifically correct, immersive environments that span the Mesozoic Era, the age of dinosaurs, and it is arranged chronologically with the most actively posed original fossil specimens; showing every visitor the age of the dinos like they have never been seen before, in such a magnificent and expositional display. In the spring of 2005, the Hall of Dinosaurs would be closed, after a century of having delighted and intrigued visitors for more than a century, and it would be replaced with a fantastic exhibition called Dinosaurs in Their Time that showcases the life and diversity of these huge creatures that lived in the Mesozoic Age, just as if they are actually alive and doing what they did millions of years ago. Ever since the discovery of the diplodocus carnegii, scientific interpretations of dinosaurs and the lives that they lived has been changed drastically. Now, scientists know that the diplodocus didn't drag its tail through the swamps of the Jurassic period, as well as the huge size of the tyrannosaurus rex causing some doubt as to whether it could have been a Cretaceous killing machine. There is always so much more to be learned about these creatures from long ago, so that it is an ever-changing event that unfolds every time a new discovery is made or some bone or fossil uncovered. The dinosaurs that are highlighted here are only a few of the many real fossil skeletons that have been found and now make-up the world's best dinosaur collection. Since it is a research museum, it is continuing it research on fossils found, and other prehistoric fossils that have been discovered, and are prepped in the Paleolab. In Bonehunters Quarry, you can get involved in the hands-on interactive fossil dig that lets you enjoy the thrill of finding a millions of years old fossil.

  • Carnegie Science Center
    Carnegie Science Center Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaThe Carnegie Science Center is situated in the Chateau neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, opening in 1991 but its history goes back as far as 1939, and today is the most visited museum in the city, with many outstanding features that bring visitors from all around the world here to enjoy its many interesting and exciting exhibits. It includes the Buhl Digital Dome that has the best and latest in projection in the world, the Miniature Railroad and Village, the Rangos OmniMax theater, the USS Requin, which is a WWII submarine and roboworld, that is considered to be the world's biggest robotics display with over 30 interactive exhibits that house all things robotic, including the first physical home to Carnegie Mellon University's Robot Hall of Fame. The Buhl Science Center merged with the Carnegie Institute and created a new $40 million Carnegie Science Center. The list of exhibits is long, but so interesting that it would have to be visited over a couple of days period, with more time spent on those features that interest you the most. The list includes; RiverQuest, Highmark SportWorks, Energy Challenge, Miniature Railroad and Village, SciQuest, roboworld, Exploration Station, Buhl Digital Planetarium, Building Green, Laser shows, Seascape, USS Requin submarine, Works Theater, Zeiss exhibit, Kitchen Theater, If a Starfish Can.., and Science Stage. Just one exhibit alone, on the fourth floor, called the Exploration station, offers both children and adults 115 interactive opportunities for them to play at a water table, observation deck, construction zone and tree trunk filled with animal puppets; while the older kids can try building a circuit, launch a rocket, play the drums, build a dam or create your own animation clip; plus much more since there are 115 of them in this section alone. So, as you can see with just this one exhibit, there is much for your entire family to enjoy and you as well, with plenty of time and space to do it in.

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  • Carnegie Museum of ArtCarnegie Museum of Art Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    The Carnegie Museum of Art is another museum started by the wealthy industrialist, Andrew Carnegie, and houses a magnificent collection of contemporary art, as well as video and film works. It would begin in 1886, when Carnegie announced, "I am thinking of incorporating with the plan for a library that of an art-gallery in which shall be preserved a record of the progress and development of pictorial art in America". The new gallery would be dedicated in 1895, and kept in the Carnegie Libraries of Pittsburgh Main Branch in Oakland, and since Carnegie saw the collections being filled with the "old masters of tomorrow" the museum would become the first modern art museum of its kind in this country. In 1907, it would accomplish a major enlargement as it added the Hall of Sculpture, Hall of Architecture and the Bruce Galleries with money donated by Carnegie, himself. The Sarah Mellon Scaife Gallery with some 125,000 square feet of exhibit space would be constructed as an addition to the already existing Carnegie Institute, which was designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes and opened in 1974, more than doubling the size of the museum's exhibit space, as well as adding a bookstore, children's studio, cafe, theater and offices. John Russell, a NY Times critic would state that it was an "unflawed paradise", although it has been rejuvenated numerous times since then, with the most recent happening in 2004. The museum continues the love of Carnegie for contemporary artworks by hosting the Carnegie International every four years, with many works being showcased, later purchased for the magnificent museum including Winslow Homer's The Wreck from 1896 and James A. McNeill Whistler's Arrangement in Black: Portrait of Senor Pablo de Saraste from 1884. The curatorial departments include; fine arts which contains contemporary art and works on paper, architecture, photography and decorative arts, while the museum hosts about 15 changing exhibitions each year. The permanent collections house about 35,000 works of art and house American and European decorative arts from the late 17th century to the current day, paintings, sculptures, works on paper and prints, but mostly Japanese and installations; as well as a unique collection of aluminum relics and chairs. There are about 1800 works showcased at any one given time; and in 2001, the museum would acquire the archive of African-American photographer, Charles "Teenie" Harris that holds about 80,000 photographic negatives that span the period of the 1930s to the 1970s. Other galleries include the Ailsa Mellon Bruce galleries from 1907, the forum gallery, the Hall of Architecture from 1907, Works on Paper Gallery, Hall of Sculpture from 1907, the Heinz Architectural Center and the Scaife galleries. For the last three quarters of a century, the Saturday art classes have been taken by over 100,000 children, with such noted alumni as Andy Warhol, contemporary artist Philip Pearlstein and photographer, Duane Michals. This museum has been named the 5th most child friendly in the nation by the Child Magazine.

  • Andy Warhol Museum
    Andy Warhol Museum Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaThe Andy Warhol Museum sits on the North Shore of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the biggest museum in the nation that is dedicated to only one artist, housing a fascinating permanent collection of art and archives that have been donated by the Pittsburgh-born pop icon artist, Andy Warhol. It is one of the four museums of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, and has been a collaborative venture by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts (AWFVA), the Carnegie Institute and the Dia Art Foundation. It occupies 88,000 square feet that sit on seven floors, with 17 galleries housing 900 paintings, 77 sculptures, 4000 photographs, almost 2000 works on paper and more than 1000 published prints. Besides the museum, there are 56 sponsored traveling displays that have welcomed over 9 million visitors in the 153 venues that it has been hosted at worldwide, since 1996. Plans for this magnificent museum would be announced almost three years after Warhol's death, and at that time, artworks worth an estimated $80 million would be donated to the newly announced museum by the AWFVA and the Dia Foundation. By 1993, the museum would be completed and given over 1000 of Andy's works that were valued at more than $55 million, and has grown to be more than 3000 today. The museum would welcome some 25,000 visitors on its inaugural weekend and has continued to grow, with 103, 298 visiting in 2009, and in 2010, it would be more with 106, 396. Some of the more famous people that has come here and viewed the great artworks included; Brooke Shields, Mick Jagger, Eddie Lizard, Bono, Duke of York, Prince Andrew, France's first lady, Carla Bruni, Willem Dafoe, first lady Michelle Obama, Nelly Furtado, Laura Linney, Robert Downey, Jr., Rupert Everett, Donna Koran and many others.

January 11, 2011