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Exterior of the former Buhl Planetarium, now the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh

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Keywords

City of Pittsburgh, gray limetsone, Northside

Artwork Type

Integrated, Sculpture



Day, Night, The Heavens, The Earth, Primitive Science, Modern Science

1939


Sidney Waugh



Photo

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Owner City of Pittsburgh
ADA Services The work is seperated from the sidewalk by plant beds and stairs. It is not possible to touch the work.

The Buhl Planetarium, designed by Ingham & Boyd, was built with a bequest from Henry Buhl Jr., a Pittsburgh merchant and philanthropist. At the time of its opening in 1939, there were only four other planetariums in the country.

The artist designed six reliefs integrated into the building's exterior. The bronze figures Primitive Science and Modern Science are located near the former main entrance. Primitive Science is represented by a Native American surrounded by fire and medicinal plants, holding snowshoes, a bow, and an arrow. Modern Science is represented by a researcher surrounded by objects that refer to chemistry, physics, and geography.

The Heavens and The Earth are on either side of the former entrance. The Heavens holds the sun, surrounded by wind and rain. The Earth clutches a hammer in front of the plants that formed the region's coal deposits. Above the old side entrance, Night is asleep at the west door and Day holds a dove at the east door. 

Sidney Waugh (1904 - 1963) was born in Amherst, Massachussets. While he spent time creating public sculpture, he also served as the chief associate designer of the Steuben Glass Company. Waugh was awarded the Prix de Rome in 1932.