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Museum of Art Announces Additions

A 19th century papier-mâché pianoforte, a daguerreotype photograph of President Barack Obama inaugural address, and water decanters commissioned by President James Monroe are among the works acquired by the Carnegie Museum of Art in 2011.

Jason Busch, the museum's chief curator, said the pieces are a great fit.

"They're all part of the permanent collection and they're acquired by curators at the museum through searching for particular objects that are on wish lists," said Busch, "and for being proactive with objects that are on the market that make sense for our collection."

Busch said one of the best acquisitions was a pianoforte and stool that made an appearance in the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1867. He said the planned display will include an "interactive media component" where people can view the compressed layers in a piece of bisected papier-mâché.

The museum does not disclose how much it pays for its acquisitions.

Busch said the museum houses the region's greatest pan-historical art collection.

"We try to make our mark in collecting objects that can be seen here and truly nowhere else," said Busch, "objects that help to tell a larger story of the history of art over time from really the beginning of time to the present."

He said the museum also received a gift of 23 objects from Deena and Jerome Kaplan of Maryland. The donation is the largest single contribution to the decorative arts and design collection in the past decade.