August Wilson: The Writer’s Landscape
The August Wilson African American Cultural Center, one of the largest cultural organizations in the country focused exclusively on the African American experience and the arts of the African diaspora, is home to The Writer’s Landscape, the first-ever exhibition dedicated to the life and works of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson. The 3,600 square foot permanent exhibition explores the people and places of Pittsburgh, where Wilson was born and raised, and which had a profound impact on shaping his worldview and inspiring his unprecedented 10-play American Century Cycle.
Explore The Writer’s Landscape
Born and raised in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, Wilson drew his greatest inspiration from the city and its people. Many of his works in the American Century Cycle, which almost exclusively take place in Pittsburgh and represent each decade of the 1900s, were largely informed by Wilson’s observations of the environment that surrounded him. To bring Wilson’s story to life, August Wilson: The Writer’s Landscape guides visitors through three sections, or acts:
The Coffee Shop
Inspired by Eddie’s, a local eatery in the Hill District, where a young Wilson frequently went to observe the day-to-day interactions of its diners. He scrawled notes on napkins, which subsequently provided the basis for many of his characters and the inspiration for his storytelling;
A replica of Wilson’s home office that will showcase his working environment and items that he prized, including his writing desk, manuscripts, books and records from his collection, generously donated by the Wilson Estate.
A recreation of Pittsburgh’s Hill District over the span of Wilson’s life, featuring an interactive map of the neighborhood exploring how it’s evolved through the years. Utilizing video, props, and costumes from notable Broadway productions of his work, this section will provide insight into major themes from each play in the American Century Cycle. It will also invite visitors to share how Wilson has been a creative inspiration to them, highlighting how the issues and people he wrote about more than four decades ago continue to be timeless and relevant today.
The American Century Cycle
Explore Wilson’s art and legacy through the enduring power of the American Century Cycle.Learn More