Free admission is being offered to active-duty military personnel and their families through Labor Day by more than 1,800 museums across America participating in the Blue Star Museums program.
Pittsburgh institutions participating are The Andy Warhol Museum, Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, Frick Art & Historical Center, Mattress Factory and the Senator John Heinz History Center. Other local participants are Old Economy Village, Ambridge; Historic Hanna's Town and Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg; Bushy Run Battlefield, Jeannette; Ligonier Valley Rail Road Museum, Ligonier; and the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, Washington.
This year, museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and American Samoa are taking part, including more than 450 new museums. Blue Star Museums include fine arts, science and history museums, nature centers and 75 children's museums. Among this year's added participants are the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles; Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum in Northport, Mich.; the Totem Heritage Center in Ketchikan, Alaska; and the World Museum of Mining in Butte, Mont.
The program is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, the Department of Defense, the museums and Blue Star Families, a national, nonprofit network of military families from all ranks and services, including guard and reserve, dedicated to supporting, connecting and empowering military families.
Institutions may join through the summer. Information and a list of all participants is at www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.
AAP Annual talks
An Artists on Art Gallery Talk program will be held from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday in the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh 102nd Annual Exhibition at Carnegie Museum of Art. Award-winning exhibiting artists Chuck Johnson, Nancy McNary Smith and Erika Osborne will discuss their and others' exhibited art. Free with museum admission. Information: www.cmoa.org or 412-622-3131.
Japanese prints abound
Japanese prints have been as prevalent as spring blossoms this year with an exhibition of the Smethurst Collection having just closed at University of Pittsburgh's Barco Law Library, an elegant exhibition now at Carnegie Museum of Art, and a just announced lecture series to be held in Lawrenceville.
"Japan Is the Key ...": Collecting Prints and Ivories, 1900-1920" at The Carnegie through July 21, comprises more than 50 prints (including a few surprises that open a window upon the complexities of collecting) and, a bonus, many ivory sculptures collected by H.J. Heinz at the beginning of the 20th century.
The History of Japanese Prints is the subject of a course offered next month at Borelli-Edwards Galleries, 3583 Butler St., Lawrenceville. The gallery exhibits regional fine art and also has available for purchase a collection of Japanese prints that includes 18th- to 20th-century Japanese landscape and nature prints and paintings.
Sessions begin at 6 p.m. June 6 (print history and overview), June 13 (subject matter), June 20 (collecting) and June 27 (influence on Western art). Speakers are gallery owner Joy Borelli-Edwards, who will address quality, valuation and subjects, and gallery curator Kathy Kienholz, who will discuss the history and influence of the prints. Ms. Kienholz investigated the influence of ukiyo-e prints on the art of Matisse for her master's degree and taught graduate classes on Japanese prints at SUNY-New Platz.
Registration is $90 (10 percent student and senior discount), or $30 per session, at 412-687-2606.
Post-Gazette art critic Mary Thomas: email@example.com or 412-263-1925.