Civic News

Peek through Pittsburgh history via Google Arts & Culture’s new digital platform

"Pittsburgh: Proud and Powerful" offers exhibitions highlighting local visual artists, performance artists, sports legends and more. Here's a look at three of our favorites.

View of Pittsburgh in the 1920s.

(Screenshot of Google Arts & Culture "Pittsburgh: Proud and Powerful")

Pittsburgh natives, visitors and admirers alike can now interact with the city’s art, history and culture in one destination online.

This week, Google Arts & Culture created a new platform focused on Pittsburgh. Through partnerships with 15 local organizations, Google — which employs around 800 people at its tech offices in Bakery Square — gives users a chance to learn more about the city’s history in innovation, sports, visual art and performing arts. With stories told around historical photographs, online exhibitions and video narratives, the digital platform entitled “Pittsburgh: Proud and Powerful” showcases Pittsburgh beyond its tech economy, making a strong case for the many other communities the city has to offer.

Partners for the project include museums including the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Mattress Factory, as well as other cultural destinations and institutions such as the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and August Wilson African American Cultural Center.

There’s plenty to peruse on the site, but here are three of’s favorite exhibits on the platform:

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

A feature on Latrobe-raised Fred Rogers and his wildly popular television show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” this exhibit features a brief biography on Rogers as well as the makings of the show. Photos of Rogers in his iconic sweaters and fan letters he wrote during the show come together to create a visual deep-dive into one of Pittsburgh’s friendliest residents.

The Teenie Harris Archive

Those who don’t have a chance to see this archive in person at the Carnegie Museum of Art will find a solid photo essay on its highlights here. Hill District native Charles “Teenie” Harris is one of Pittsburgh’s most renowned visual artists, and his photography is known for his ability to capture Black life in the 20th century. The full archive is now available online, but this photo essay is a great primer on Harris’ life and work.


The Life of a Heinz Pickle

H.J. Heinz Company is one of Pittsburgh’s signature businesses, and the food processing company remains emblematic of the city’s industrial past even to this day. (Try finding one Pittsburgher who won’t get upset when a restaurant doesn’t have Heinz Ketchup.) With historical photos and a look at some antique pickling technology, this exhibition follows a Heinz pickle from farm to table in the earlier 20th century.

Check it out
Sophie Burkholder is a 2021-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Endowments.
Companies: Google
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