History of Art and Architecture

Collecting Knowledge Pittsburgh


Pittsburgh is home to some of the most extraordinary collections and archives in the country. Collecting Knowledge Pittsburgh encourages University of Pittsburgh faculty and students to make the most of these rich holdings. Supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Collecting Knowledge Pittsburgh is a consortium of local museums, galleries and archives working together to share information and expertise, and foster collaboration in research, teaching, and public engagement.

Since 2015, Collecting Knowledge Pittsburgh has developed a range of initiatives that seek to:

  • Create opportunities for student and faculty engagement with local collections and archives

  • Facilitate object-based workshops and activities designed to make connections across partner collections and inspire new research projects

  • Further integrate local collections into teaching activities in the department, and across the university

  • Make connections between curatorial and academic research to foster collegiality, collaboration and knowledge exchange

  • Develop internship opportunities that help students develop professional skills, and contribute to the goals of institutional partners

  • Foster opportunities for collaboration and student engagement across acquisitions, registration, cataloging, preservation and conservation


  • Support the efforts of museums, galleries and archives to expand digital access, especially through collaborative platforms, and deepen connections with student and public audiences

  • Engage diverse local communities in the creation and dissemination of knowledge that resonates with contemporary issues and experiences

Building on the department’s unique Constellations framework, the initiative advances a cross-disciplinary approach to visual and material culture that draws connections across place and time. While many of the collections engaged in the initiative have particular relevance to local historical contexts, Collecting Knowledge Pittsburgh seeks also to reveal their global significance. Through these relationships, the History of Art and Architecture department engages with diverse expertise across the university and consortium partners, and promotes the value of art historical and museological approaches to the widest range of scholarly fields. For more information about Collecting Knowledge Pittsburgh, contact Alex Taylor, Assistant Professor and Academic Curator, alex.taylor@pitt.edu