The Hall of Architecture
Carnegie Museum of Art’s Hall of Architecture is one of the world’s three largest collections of plaster architectural casts, and the only example in North America.
Formed between 1904 and 1912, the collection of nearly 140 casts includes copies of recognized masterworks from the ancient world, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance. They generally were purchased from cast-making companies or workshops in European museums, but to distinguish this collection, Andrew Carnegie also commissioned several unique casts. The most extraordinary of these—a copy of the entire facade of the Abbey Church of Saint-Gilles, in Gard, France—is believed to be the largest architectural cast in the world.
The Hall of Architecture was part of an expansion of Carnegie Institute in 1907 that also included the Hall of Sculpture, an adjacent space containing a collection of casts of ancient figurative sculptures. While the Hall of Architecture is no longer configured as it was in 1907, it continues to attest to Andrew Carnegie’s singular objective of bringing the world to Pittsburgh.