Spending the afternoon soaking in the culture, art, and history of a museum has been sorely missing over the last year. International Museum Day on May 18th is hosted nationally by The International Council of Museums to raise awareness about the fact that, “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.” 

Grab your family or some friends and book your visit to one of these amazing cultural hubs!

Maridon Museum

Image via: The Maridon Museum

The Maridon Museum in Butler is the only museum in Western, PA that focuses on Asian art and culture. You can also find a beautiful 300 piece collection of German Meissen porcelain. The museum boasts more than 800 precious art objects in four galleries. Book a docent-led tour, explore on your own or visit the museum during one of their special events. Tickets are $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, children under 8 are admitted for free!

The Mattress Factory

Image via: The Mattress Factory featuring installation by Jennifer Agnus

The Mattress Factory can definitively be considered the most unique museum in the area. Nestled in the middle of the Mexican War Streets, this contemporary art museum sprawls across four different buildings and incorporates neighborhood murals as part of this explorative space. It is nationally and internationally recognized as a leader in site-specific, contemporary art and is notorious for pushing the boundaries of both artist and viewer. “The unparalleled support that artists receive from the Mattress Factory, while working in residence, often results in the production of extraordinary artwork that propels the artist’s career and significantly impacts the field of contemporary art.” While you’re in the neighborhood continue your cultural experience by heading over to Randyland and checking out some beautiful murals along the way!

The Carnegie Art Museum

Image via: Carnegie Art Museum featuring art by Mark Bradford

Featuring over 30,000 objects over a broad spectrum of visual arts, The Carnegie Art Museum is considered one of the most dynamic museums in the country. In 1896 the Carnegie International exhibit was created by Andrew Carnegie to educate and inspire others through bold pieces of contemporary art. The tradition of this exhibit thrives today with a reimagined new theme concept every 10 years. Through their programming, exhibitions, and publications, CMOA frequently explores the role of art and artists in confronting key social issues of our time, combining and juxtaposing local and global perspectives. With unique history and resources, they remain a leader in defining the role of art museums for the 21st century. Rediscover this museum for free any Thursday evening for the entire month of May!

Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Image via: Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Connected to the CMOA is the equally incredible Carnegie Museum of Natural History. This scientific institution and strongly supports evolution as the only scientifically rigorous and strongly corroborated explanation for the amazing diversity of life on Earth—now and in the past. Carnegie Museum of Natural History collects and cares for specimens and artifacts that document the history of life on Earth. Through field studies and collections-based scientific research, they find new knowledge and promote stewardship of its natural resources. Through public exhibitions, programs, and educational partnerships, the museum shares results of our scientific research, in order to enhance scientific literacy by illuminating the processes of evolution and adaptation that have shaped the diversity of our world and its inhabitants.

Senator John Heinz History Center

Image via: John Heinz History Center

Devoted to the history and heritage of Western Pennsylvania, the History Center is Pennsylvania’s largest history museum and a proud affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. The Senator John Heinz History Center family of museums and programs includes the Heinz History Center, Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, Fort Pitt Museum, Meadowcroft Rockshelter, and Historic Village, Detre Library & Archives, and the new Museum Conservation Center. The 370,000 square-foot museum presents compelling stories from American history with a Western Pennsylvania connection in an interactive environment perfect for visitors of all ages.

This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
Bryer Blumenschein

Digital Strategist, Made in PGH

Bryer is a born-and-raised Pittsburgher who is deeply entrenched in the local food and culture scene. When she's not checking out new galleries and shows, you can find her tasting some of the best dishes the city has to offer or hiking outside! Right now, Bryer lives in the South Side with her fiancé, Oscar, and their two dogs.

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