Merrick Art Gallery Welcomes You
Founded by the celebrated New Brighton industrialist, Edward Dempster Merrick (1832 - 1911), The Merrick is home to a stunning collection of French, German, English, and American paintings from the 18th and 19th Century. The collection features examples of romantic, realistic, and impressionistic art by prominent American and European artists, including Prud'hon, Courbet, Winterhalter, Sully, and Curran. Most prominent is a collection of Hudson River School paintings featuring the works of Durand, Moran, Kensett, Casilear, and Trost Richards.
The Merrick also boasts a piano once played by legendary composer Stephen Foster - located in the Eva Mae Merrick Music Room. Other collections include a complement of Contemporary art; a 19th century library; a rock and mineral collection.
Evolution of the Gallery
The Merrick Art Gallery is listed in the National Register of Historic places. The core structure was the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne, and Chicago Railroad passenger station and was built between 1849 abd 1851. By 1880, it was vacant and included the skylight ceiling. Below is New Brighton 1896 map from The Library of Congress.
In 1880 Merrick purchased the train station to house his growing art collection and in 1898 purchased the land between the train station and where the M.E. (Methodist Episcopol) Church stood. Next to the original building he built a second two story building with a courtyard between them and a covered bridge connecting the second story of the buildings.
Between 1900 and 1903, the Methodist Episcopol Church merged with Grace Methodist Church and Fifth Avenue Methodist Church, constructing a new building and selling the Methodist Episcopol Church to ED Merrick. The building was in poor condition, so it was razed shortly after he purchased it.
Little changes were made following ED Merrick’s death in 1911. With the trsteeship of Robert S. Merrick and his wife Eva Mae in 1959, major changes began. Electricity was installed in 1960 and a gas furnace replaced the coal furnace whose soot was detrimental to the paintings.
In recent years, two rooms have been redecorated in the style of the Edwardian Period, a Victorian Garden has been added, an attached pavilion, and most recently...a parking lot.