Someone provided Francis Xavier Warde with a snowy friend on a winter day.
Francis Xavier Warde is one of the Sisters of Mercy who emigrated to the United States from Ireland to found, among other foundations, the institution which became Carlow University in Pittsburgh, providing a baccalaureate eduction to Catholic women. Perhaps this is somewhat sacrilegious, but I think a woman like Mother Frances Warde would have understood.
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With the peaks of PPG Place in the background, Seward Johnson’s statue “A Turn of the Century,” in PPG Plaza, a 20-foot-tall, 14,440-pound monumental bronze sculpture based on an 1883 life-sized painting by impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, “Dance at Bougival.” I took the photo at twilight but the sky still has quite a bit of light. The modern glass towers of PPG Place tinted blue by the sky are a wonderful foil the the 19th-century Parisian dancers with even a locust tree lit by a colored light as if they are in an outdoor gathering place at night.
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“Three Birds in Flight” by sculptor Mary Callery has soared through the multi-story entrance to the Regional Enterprise Tower in Pittsburgh for 60 years.
This building was once called Alcoa Tower, housing the home offices of the Aluminum Company of America, or ALCOA, and the building is faced with aluminum. This sculpture was made from 700 pounds of aluminum and was installed in the lobby when the Alcoa Tower was opened in 1953. Callery was born in New York but grew up in Pittsburgh, traveling to Europe and settling in France. She returned to the United States during WWII and later returned to France. Among many other sculptures in her life’s work, she was commissioned to create three sculptures in aluminum for the Alcoa Tower, “Three Birds in Flight” being one of them. I am honored to have a sculpture by such a renowned artist in our city, and I find it interesting that in an era when female artists were not taken seriously ALCOA chose to commission a woman to create its signature welcoming sculptures.