Abe Weiner (1917-1993) grew up in the Hill District. As a boy, he showed an aptitude for the arts and won a National Scholastic Art Award in high school. He attended the Carnegie Institute of Technology where he studied under Samuel Rosenberg. After graduating in 1941, he began a long career as a painter and teacher.
His early professional work featured scenes of daily life in the city, reflecting the influence of the American Realist movement en vogue at the time. By the early 1950s, Weiner had developed a signature style. Applying his technical proficiency to surreal imagery, Weiner painted glittering cityscapes, reminiscent of Pittsburgh, emerging from disintegrating tableaus, a fitting visual metaphor for a once smoky city undergoing a renaissance and transformation.
“Every corner lends itself to painting,” he told the Squirrel Hill News in December 1958, adding, “Pittsburgh has an opalescent quality — it is a city of subtle tones and color changes — and since I grew up with these things, they set the tone of my paintings.”
Weiner’s works have been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Chicago Art Institute, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. and the Houston Museum of Art, among other national museums and numerous local exhibitions. In 1950, Life magazine named Weiner one of the “Fifty Most Promising Painters in the United States.”
In 1946, Weiner married pianist Anne Weisberg. They had three children, Jonathan, Kim and Shari. Weiner taught at the Ivy School of Professional Art, the Arts and Crafts Center, now the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and the Irene Kaufmann Center. He and Anne Weiner offered private painting and piano lessons, respectively, from their home studios.