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Heinz History Center to Host Vatican Splendors Exhibition This Fall
--Exhibit is One of the Largest Collections of Vatican Art and Historical Objects Ever Viewed in North America--
PITTSBURGH, June 14, 2010 – One of the largest Vatican collections to ever tour North America is coming to Pittsburgh this fall.
On Oct. 2, the Senator John Heinz History Center will host Vatican Splendors: A Journey through Faith and Art, a 10,000 square-foot exhibition presenting unique objects illustrating 2,000 years of art, history, and culture. The History Center is one of only three venues in North America to host this extraordinary exhibition.
Presented by Federated Investors, Inc. and UPMC, Vatican Splendors provides Americans with a rare opportunity to see artwork and objects from the collections of the Vatican.
“As the Smithsonian’s home in Pittsburgh, the History Center is honored to bring this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition to Western Pennsylvania,” said Andy Masich, president and CEO of the History Center. “Visitors will experience one of the world’s greatest collections, including some pieces that have never been seen outside of the Vatican walls.”
The Vatican Splendors exhibition presents nearly 200 unique items from the Vatican, including:
Original works by Michelangelo, as well as a first generation cast of the Pietà from St. Peter’s Basilica, alongside signed documents and personal objects used in work on the Sistine Chapel;
Guercino’s c. 1622 “Portrait of Christ with Crown of Thorns” painting, the first modern representation of Jesus, that has never been on display at the Vatican;
17th century works by Bernini, including carved, gilded angels and a baroque urn depicting the Last Supper from the Basilica of Saint Mary Major;
A reliquary containing the remains of Saint Peter and Saint Paul that has never been outside of the Vatican;
Original frescoes of saints created between 1277-1280 at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls;
Objects discovered at the tombs of Saint Peter and Saint Paul;
A bronze Cast of the Hand of Pope John Paul II, which visitors are encouraged to touch during their visit, alongside a handwritten poem from John Paul II; and
Historical objects from the modern and ancient basilicas of Saint Peter’s in Rome.
To augment and enhance the Vatican Splendors exhibition, the History Center is working closely with Bishop David Zubik and the Diocese of Pittsburgh and others to exhibit rarely seen regional artifacts and historical documents.
The Vatican Splendors Cabinet, which is made up of leaders in the Catholic community, is co-chaired by J. Christopher Donahue and Martin G. McGuinn.
Throughout the run of the exhibition, the History Center will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with extended hours during the winter holiday season. Tickets will be made available through Ticketmaster, online, or on site at the History Center later this summer.
Adult admission will be $20, with discounts available for seniors, children, students, groups, and Parish Advantage participants. History Center members will receive the deepest discount available.
Vatican Splendors is organized and circulated in conjunction with the Congregazione per l’Evangelizzazione dei Popoli of the Vatican City State. The exhibition is produced by Evergreen Exhibitions in association with the Senator John Heinz History Center. Objects in the exhibition are on loan from The Reverenda Fabbrica of Saint Peter, the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls, the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, the Vatican Library, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and the Apostolic Floreria. Additional objects are on loan by the Papal Swiss Guard and private collections.
About the Senator John Heinz History Center
The Senator John Heinz History Center is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and the largest history museum in Pennsylvania. The Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum is a museum within a museum, comprehensively presenting the region’s remarkable sports story through hundreds of artifacts and interactive experiences for visitors of all ages. The History Center and Sports Museum are located at 1212 Smallman Street in the city’s Strip District, and are open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information is available at www.heinzhistorycenter.org.
About Evergreen Exhibitions Evergreen Exhibitions is a world leader in providing high quality, state-of-the-art exhibitions in collaboration with more than 200 leading museums and research institutions in the United States and internationally.
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Editors' Note: Interviews with History Center President and CEO Andy Masich or digital photos of the Vatican Splendors exhibition are available by contacting Mike Mackin at 412-454-6459 or firstname.lastname@example.org.