Made Local

Marylynne Pitz & Laura Malt Schneiderman

Co-presented with University of Pittsburgh Press

In 1868, Jacob Kaufmann, the nineteen-year-old son of a German farmer, stepped off a ship onto the shores of New York. His brother Isaac soon followed, and together they joined an immigrant community of German Jews selling sewing items to the coal miners and mill workers of western Pennsylvania. After opening merchant tailor shops in Pittsburgh’s North and South sides, the Kaufmann brothers caught the wave of a new type of merchandising—the department store—and launched what would become their retail dynasty with a downtown storefront at Fifth Avenue and Smithfield Street. In just two decades, Jacob and his brothers had ascended Pittsburgh’s economic and social ladder, rising from hardscrabble salesmen into Gilded Age multimillionaires.

Generous and powerful philanthropists, the Kaufmanns left an indelible mark on the city and western Pennsylvania. From Edgar and Liliane’s famous residence, the Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece called Fallingwater, to the Kaufmann clock, a historic landmark that inspired the expression “meet me under the clock,” to countless fond memories for residents and shoppers, the Kaufmann family made important contributions to art, architecture, and culture. Far less known are the personal tragedies and fateful ambitions that forever shaped this family, their business, and the place they called home. Kaufmann’s recounts the story of one of Pittsburgh’s most beloved department stores, pulling back the curtain to reveal the hardships, triumphs, and complicated legacy of the prominent family behind its success.

Marylynne Pitz is an award-winning journalist covering art, architecture, books, and history. She was a member of the news team that won the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Tree of Life shooting in 2018. Laura Malt Schneiderman is a journalist and web developer. She has won seven first place Golden Quill awards and the Scripps Howard Edward J. Meeman Award as part of a team report.

Partner

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Books

Kaufmann’s will be available for pre-sale from White Whale Bookstore.

WHEN

Thursday, October 20, 2022 at 6 p.m.

COVID-19

Masks are encouraged.

TICKETS

Free, with registration
Links to the livestream will be emailed to all registered for this event on the morning of October 20th. The captioned video will be remain available to view after October 20th.
REGISTER TO ATTEND IN PERSONREGISTER TO WATCH ONLINE
Registration may also be completed by email at info@pittsburghlectures.org or by phone at 412.622.8866.

WHERE

Carnegie Library Lecture Hall
4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, 15213

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