A Wise Extravagance

The Founding of the Carnegie International Exhibitions, 1895–1901

Art historian Kenneth Neal's A Wise Extravagance chronicles the first six years of the enterprise's history. . . in a lively, spirited manner. Very well written and a fascinating account, [the book] relates the institution and the exhibition series to the social and intellectual context of their day, and to the ambitions, predilecitons, and personalities of the key players involved. Vivid depictions: the city of Pittsburgh, the angry artists, the miffy critics. Vivid the sense that even today so little has really changed. . . . Part of the pleasure . . . is the way in which each topic is brought so energetically to life—anecdotal, sparkling thread-togethers of the dusty records brought to life.
New Art Examiner

Andrew Carnegie, industrialist and a major American philanthropist, sought to bring world-class art and culture to Pittsburgh. This book looks at how the Carnegie International exhibit came into being in 1895, the early exhibitions, the art, artists, and the public reception to it.

about the author

Kenneth Neal

Kenneth Neal has written extensively on the American collections of the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and has contributed to numerous journals. He has taught courses at the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, and Carlow College.

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Kenneth Neal