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October 26, 2023

Gledaj! The Gaze of Maxo Vanka Closing Reception

Thursday, 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm

“What we start to see in this collection is Vanka as an observer, Vanka as a laborer, artist as laborer, who takes the time to look, to investigate and to draw.”

Gledaj! The Gaze of Maxo Vanka

Temporary Exhibition – April 20 – October 26, 2023

Presented by the Society to Preserve the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka, in partnership with Rivers of Steel

Croatian artist Maxo Vanka is known to many for his “Gift to America”: the 25 murals painted on the walls of Millvale’s St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church. These one-of-a-kind murals—a tribute to an immigrant congregation and community—are also the dramatic culmination of the artist’s experiences, his vision of justice, and his unflinching gaze at the world around him.

In 2019, Maxo Vanka’s granddaughter, Marya Halderman, and her husband John gifted the Society to Preserve the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka a treasure trove of original sketches and drawings completed during the artist’s visits to Pittsburgh in 1935 and 1937. The more than 130 works feature sketches of bridges, riverboats, industry, and architecture from the Pittsburgh region as well as preparatory sketches for the murals Maxo Vanka completed at St. Nicholas in Millvale.

This exhibition adds another dimension to our knowledge of Vanka. Where the work in the collection offers a window to the artist’s process on the murals, the pieces on loan show that Vanka was working on many of the themes, portraits, and scenes in the murals across his creative life. He drew inspiration from peasant life and costume, from Catholic liturgy and religious teaching, and from the landscape and architecture of his beloved Croatia. Many of the pieces on loan can be grouped thematically and demonstrate Vanka’s process, his intense concentration, his gaze.

This exhibition is curated by Steffi Domike.

Read about the exhibition is this article from Belt Magazine.

Closing Reception

Thursday, October 26, 2023, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Join Rivers of Steel and the Society to Preserve the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka for a public reception in the Bost Building’s upper gallery. Sign up for the free event. Light refreshments and snacks will be provided.

Hours & Admission*

Thursday, October 26, 2023, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

General Admission 

Free, registration required.


Location & Directions

The Bost Building is located at 623 E. Eighth Avenue, Homestead, PA 15120. Free parking for visitors is available in the lot behind the building which is accessed from Heisel Street.

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What to Know Before You Go

  • Restrooms: Restrooms are located on the first floor.
  • Photography: Photography is permitted. 
  • Parking: Parking is available directly behind the building. Please do not park in the Post Office parking lot or on Heisel Street.
  • Accessibility: The Bost Building is wheel chair accessible. Handicapped parking is available. 
  • Masks Not Required: Please be advised of our current COVID-19 policies. 
  • Maintain social distance: Social distancing is no longer mandatory, but we do ask that you be mindful of the people around you, allowing for a comfortable amount of space when possible.
  • Admission: Site access is limited to designated exhibition areas and gift shop only.  Registration is required. 
  • Location: The Bost Building is located at 623 East Eighth Avenue, Homestead, PA 15120.

For more information, contact

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A sketch of a bridge.


October 26, 2023
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Categories:


The Bost Building
623 East Eighth Ave
Homestead, 15120 United States
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Rivers of Steel