Student Spotlight: Dana Greenblatt, Master of Education with Certification in Art Education, 2014

Alison Juram D'Addieco - April 25, 2014

"I love art, I love history, and I love to teach," says Greenblatt. "Carlow's program at the Cranberry site and online was made especially for people like me."

More than 10.2 million viewers tuned in to the 2014 premiere of the PBS Masterpiece Theatre series, Downton Abbey, the fictional tale of the aristrocratic Crawley family and their servants in post-Edwardian England.

Downton aficionados have lived vicariously through the sinking of the RMS Titanic and the First World War, and are now immersed in the glamour and social confusion of the roaring '20s.

Local Downton-lovers may not realize it, but Pittsburgh's true tales of turn-of-the-century high society rival the Abbey's fiction. For the real scoop, they need look no further than the Sewickley Heights History Center, directed by Dana Greenblatt, a current art education graduate student at Carlow's Cranberry campus. 

Sewickley Heights History Center's 1931 American Austin built in Butler, PA
The Sewickley Heights History Center's 1931 American Austin, manufactured in Butler, Pennsylvania, by the American Austin Car Company. The original price was $450.

In those days, when Pittsburgh's steel industry was in its infancy, industrialists and business leaders lived in Old Allegheny, across the river from Pittsburgh. When pollution became chokingly thick, the industrialists relocated to the rolling countryside of Sewickley Heights.

The exquisite mansions they built-referred to as "cottages"—were actually working farms maintained by myriad servants and featuring stone walls, gatehouses, formal gardens, tennis courts, and swimming pools.

The Sewickley Heights History Center, located at 1901 Glen Mitchel Road in Sewickley, Pa., offers a unique collection of film, photos, and vintage attire, combined with antique cars and carriages, recalling the lifestyle of Pittsburgh's early industrialists.

Dana Greenblatt, Master of Education with Certification in Art Education (2014) and Director of the Sewickley Heights History Center
Dana Greenblatt, Master of Education with Certification in Art Education student (2014) and Director of the Sewickley Heights History Center

A Butler, Pa., resident, Greenblatt's undergraduate degrees in art history and business led her to positions as an art gallery curator and high-end interior designer. She also spent time teaching tennis and snowboarding to area youth.  Today, as the working mom of an active seven-year-old boy, Greenblatt wants to combine her passions while accommodating her hectic schedule.

Teaching art seemed a perfect choice. And Carlow made it easy.

"I love art, I love history, and I love to teach," says Greenblatt. "Carlow's program at the Cranberry site and online was made especially for people like me."

Greenblatt is thrilled that Downton Abbey has reignited a fascination with Pittsburgh's Gilded Age. She loves revealing little-known tidbits about local industrialists' lives and livelihoods-such as how the former Hillside Farm, a 1,100 acre estate owned by crucible steel co-founder Lewis Park, had an outside staff of 42 to care for its 30 dogs, 1,500 chickens, golf course, roller coaster, pool, and fire truck.

Sewickley Heights History Center's Mural created by Richard Smith
The Sewickley Heights History Center Mural by Richard Smith (photo courtesy of the Sewickley Heights History Center)

Whitney Snyder, chairman of the board of the History Center, says Greenblatt is doing a "wonderful job" bringing history to life as cultivates the Center's video archives and organizes such events as the Antique Car Extravaganza, Riding and Driving Party, lecture series, and The Great Gatsby Affair.

"Dana's positive energy has become contagious to all of us at the History Center," says Snyder, "which will help grow this little museum into something very special, not only in the Sewickley community, but also throughout Western Pennsylvania."


Learn more about our Art Education Graduate Offerings
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