In 2013, artist Ron Donoughe set out to paint all 90 of Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods. Inspired by a map, he painted the neighborhoods in alphabetical order and completed the project within a single year in order to capture the changing seasons.
Explore some of the 90 neighborhoods in Pittsburgh in this exhibit, featuring Donoughe's paintings.
Allegheny Center (2013) by Ron DonougheOriginal Source: Heinz History Center Museum Collections
Donoughe began this project in the summer of 2013, evidenced by the lush growth on the trees surrounding the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Allegheny.
The artist chose to paint the Library, the first public library in the U.S. gifted by Andrew Carnegie, as it represented, “the wealth, education, and history of the region.”
Allegheny West (2013) by Ron DonougheOriginal Source: Heinz History Center Museum Collections
These row houses stand on North Lincoln Avenue and are examples of the Victorian era of architecture that mark this early “suburb” of the city.
Banksville (2013) by Ron DonougheOriginal Source: Heinz History Center Museum Collections
Donoughe first planned to paint the interior of this garage, but when that didn’t work out, he focused on the interplay of shadow and light on the building signage.
Donoughe painted views of apartment buildings in neighborhoods including Bedford Dwellings (top left), Bloomfield (top middle), Central Lawrenceville (top right), Central Northside (bottom left), and Polish Hill (bottom right).
Chateau (2013) by Ron DonougheOriginal Source: Heinz History Center Museum Collections
This scene renders the river that touches this neighborhood near the Rivers Casino. The interplay of light and reflection on the moving water challenged Donoughe.
Crafton Heights (2013) by Ron DonougheOriginal Source: Heinz History Center Museum Collections
Impressed by the passion and enthusiasm of Ken Smith, the owner of Better-Maid Donuts, Donoughe painted the iconic pink house on Steuben Street that is home to the shop.
Donoughe painted views of churches in neighborhoods including Crawford-Roberts (upper left), East Liberty (upper right), North Oakland (lower left), and Mount Oliver (lower right).
Mount Washington (2014) by Ron DonougheOriginal Source: Heinz History Center Museum Collections
Donoughe spied this view while driving up Grandview Avenue. He parked and hiked down to paint it—standing on the bridge near East Sycamore Street while cars zipped by.
Two hours later, covered in slush and numb from the cold, he hiked back up the hill to get his car and head home.
North Shore (2014) by Ron DonougheOriginal Source: Heinz History Center Museum Collections
Donoughe painted this steel ladle sitting in a North Shore parking lot because it seemed so odd to find it there.
At the time he had no idea that this giant object is part of the History Center’s collection and is stored there until the museum can secure an outdoor display area near its Smallman Street site.
Perry North (2014) by Ron DonougheOriginal Source: Heinz History Center Museum Collections
Donoughe painted this neighborhood, also known as Observatory Hill, twice, choosing the Allegheny Observatory for his first subject.
Then someone told him about this street and he couldn’t resist the vista seen from a steep backyard.
Southshore (2014) by Ron DonougheOriginal Source: Heinz History Center Museum Collections
This industrial image of Bryan Concrete features a dirty rust colored building set off by the bright yellow railing.
Upper Hill (2014) by Ron DonougheOriginal Source: Heinz History Center Museum Collections
The power of this image attracted Donoughe—the solitary strength of this house on Finland Street and the way the city fanned out behind it. You can see Children’s Hospital in the distance to the left of the house.
Windgap (2014) by Ron DonougheOriginal Source: Heinz History Center Museum Collections
These houses with their big trees and well-kept lawns looked more suburban than urban. It seems a fitting neighborhood for Donoughe to end his year long journey – a transition out of the city and all the experiences it offered.
Summer Hill (2014) by Ron DonougheOriginal Source: Heinz History Center Museum Collections
To capture this vista of morning traffic, Donoughe stood on a bridge on Ivory Avenue that crosses over the Parkway North.
You can view the rest of Donoughe's 90 Neighborhood paintings here on Google Arts & Culture or in person in the Special Collections Gallery at the History Center.
About the Artist, Ron Donoughe
A native of Loretto, Pa., Donoughe lives in Pittsburgh and maintains a studio in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of the city. He received a B.A. in Art Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and studied at the California College of Arts and Crafts. Donoughe is best known for his realistic landscape paintings of this region, often painted from life. He prefers to paint on-site, often outside, and to capture a scene in a single day—preserving a moment in time.