Pittsburgh’s History Center to Host Vatican Splendors Exhibit

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.

“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.
  • WHEN:
    Vatican Splendors will be featured at the History Center from Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010, through Jan. 9, 2011. 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 holiday season.

    The History Center: 1212 Smallman Street in Pittsburgh’s historic Strip District

    Tickets are $20 for adults, $17 for seniors and students (with college ID), and $13 for children (ages 6-12). Children under age 5 are free. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster and at Giant Eagles. Tickets allow you to schedule a time for your specific visit so as to prevent the center from being overcrowded. People from all over the country are ordering tickets and planning their visit.


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