There is a great deal of public art in Pittsburgh. Surveying some examples of this public sculpture suggests some general lessons about the role of such art. Art in public spaces needs to be accessible to the public. One way to make it so is to present local history, commemorating local sports heroes, politicians or artists. Public art also needs to be placed in a way that is sensitive to local history. Most public art in Pittsburgh is not successful because it does not deal with the interesting history of that city. Much sculpture that is successful in a museum is not good public art, and some successful public art in Pittsburgh does not belong in a museum.
In the art world, technological advances have implications similar to those in science and industry. Digital art exists in a “development stream” that parallels software design; a curator must be skilled at rapid upgrades. On the other hand, the permanence of digital information allows a more complete documentation of artistic development in a swiftly maturing medium and fosters equal access to work from throughout the world.