Vanka Murals Table Talks are virtual conversations with experts working to enhance and grow the Vanka Murals’ mission to save and share the one-of-a-kind murals of immigrant artist Maxo Vanka in St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church in Millvale. Every program includes an original and compelling presentation on a Vanka Murals-related topic with a guest host who brings their own special perspective. The 60-minute program includes an interactive Q&A session.

Vanka Murals also partners with local businesses to offer special food and beverage accompaniments to each program.

Recent Programs

June 17, 2020: Researching the History of St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church

Link to recorded program: June 2020 Vanka Murals Table Talk

Passcode: 3x?j4T0B

Presentation by: Jeff Slack, AICP, Principal of Time and Place, LLC, Preservation Services

Many people know about the nationally significant murals of St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church and the important immigrant story they help to tell. But the Church, one of the Shrines of Pittsburgh, has a long, rich history that began four decades before Maxo Vanko first picked up his paint brush.

Jeff discusses the history of the parish, the two churches that have stood on the site, the works of architect Frederick C. Sauer, the evolution of the Mid-Century Modern campus and changes to the church over time. He will also address how his research is supporting a historic structure report funded in part by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and the Heinz Endowments that will establish a broader historic context for St. Nicholas, provide a holistic assessment of the building, and make recommendations for ongoing care that will benefit both the murals and the congregation.

May 17, 2020: Introducing the Vanka Collection

Link to recorded program:May 2020 Vanka Murals Table Talk

Passcode: 3g?6604+

(Dr. Rhor’s presentation starts at approximately 8:30.)

Presentation by: Dr. Sylvia Rhor, Director and Curator, University Art Gallery, University of Pittsburgh and Lead Curator, Vanka Collection

Dr. Rhor presents an introduction to the recently gifted Vanka Collection; more than 130 original works on paper by Maxo Vanka. The Vanka Collection includes sketches of Pittsburgh in 1935 and 1937 and preparatory drawings for the Vanka Murals donated in December 2019 by Maxo Vanka‘s granddaughter, Marya, and her husband John Halderman.