The University of Pittsburgh, since its foundation in 1787, has acquired various works of art, historical artifacts and collections intended for pedagogical and educational uses. Donors have endowed the University with materials such as books, artworks and scientific specimens. These collections were given to specific departments for teaching and research purposes, or, in some cases, as works to adorn the walls of buildings and offices around campus. Over the decades, the University enhanced its newly-built facilities with outdoor public works of art.

The Fine Arts Department was created in 1926 and was originally located on the 7th floor of the Cathedral of Learning. A gallery space was dedicated there for monthly exhibitions of artworks lent to or acquired by the department. The Fine Arts Department moved into the Frick Fine Arts Building in 1965. Most of the objects that had been acquired by the department in previous decades were redistributed between Hillman’s Special Collections, the Frick Fine Arts Library and the University Art Gallery.

Early acquisitions in the University Art Gallery collection include the Denny-Clapp drawings, acquired by the Fine Arts department in 1941 and the Jacques Callot collection, acquired in 1947. In 1959, Miss Frick purchased more than 20 paintings by Nicholas Lochoff, which were shipped from Florence to Pittsburgh and stored in the basement of the Cathedral of Learning until the Frick Fine Arts Building was completed in 1965. Four of the paintings remained in the Cathedral of Learning - one of them located in the auditorium. The Nicholas Lochoff Cloister in the Frick Fine Arts Building represents the most complete collection of Lochoff replicas in the world.

Since its new location in the Frick Fine Arts Building, the UAG acquired a variety of art and cultural objects, mainly for teaching purposes. Today, the UAG holds 19th and 20th century American paintings, Italian drawings from the 17th century, American and European works on paper, a small collection of albumen prints and some 20th century photographs. It also holds a collection of Inuit art from communities in Northern Canada, as well as scrolls, prints, rubbings and decorative objects from China and Japan. The UAG is also the repository for the work of Gertrude Quastler.

Works on Campus

The UAG inventories and documents artworks located throughout the Pitt campus. Please note that these artworks are not necessarily part of the UAG collection. They may belong to specific departments or schools, or may have been acquired for public spaces on campus. The Gallery keeps information about artworks on public view throughout the campus. If interested to learn more or to share information about the art, feel free to contact us.