Exhibition extended through 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.

An impressionistic self portrait of a white man in a brimmed hat with a beard and mustache wearing a plaid jacket and blue shirt.

The Society to Preserve the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka extends special thanks to Marya and John Halderman, Christie Clayton and Michael Burkitt, and Diane Novosel and Sam Iusi. With gratitude to Ana Alba of Alba Art Conservation, Jessica Keister of Steel City Conservation, David Neumann of Arca Fine Art Services, and the team at Rivers of Steel, including Ron Baraff, Ryan Henderson, Carly McCoy, and Chris McGinnis, for helping to make this exhibition possible.

Gledaj! is made possible through a partnership with the Rivers of Steel Heritage Area. Funding was provided in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, Heritage Area Program Fund, Environmental Stewardship Fund, administered by the Rivers of Steel Heritage Corp.

Exhibition Curator: Steffi Domike

All photos by David Neumann.

The Vanka Murals Collection is the property of the Society to Preserve the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka.

Hours & Admission*

This exhibition offers timed ticketing on Mondays through Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. or by appointment. Closed on Federal holidays.

Visit the ExhibitionVisit the Exhibition

Exhibition Admission 

$5 suggested donation; register in advance.

Attend the Closing ReceptionAttend the Closing Reception

Closing Reception 

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

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.

Get DirectionsGet Directions

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 wheelchair accessible. Handicapped parking is available.
  • COVID-19 Policies: Please be advised of our current COVID-19 policies.
  • Admission: Site access is limited to designated exhibition areas and gift shop only. Timed tickets are required.
  • Location: The Bost Building is located at 623 East Eighth Avenue, Homestead, PA 15120.

For more information, contact

Learn more about the events

such as tours, workshops, and festivals happening at each unique attraction.