Bost Building Exhibitions

Selected date

Monday March 27

Selected time

2:00 PM  –  3:00 PM

Built in 1892 as a hotel for the rapidly growing worker’s ward of Homestead, the Bost Building was at the center of one of American labor history’s most dramatic episodes – the Homestead Lockout and Strike. Now a National Historic Landmark, the Bost Building serves as the Visitors’ Center for the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area and offers exhibits on the region’s industrial and cultural heritage.


April 20 through August 25, 2023

Opening Reception: Thursday, April 20, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Closing Reception: Thursday, August 25, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Croatian artist Maxo Vanka is known to many for his “Gift to America”: the 25 murals painted on the walls of Millvale’s St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church. These one-of-a-kind murals—a tribute to an immigrant congregation and community—are also the dramatic culmination of the artist’s experiences, his vision of justice, and his unflinching gaze at the world around him.   

In 2019, Maxo Vanka’s granddaughter, Marya Halderman, and her husband John gifted the Society to Preserve the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka a treasure trove of original sketches and drawings completed during the artist’s visits to Pittsburgh in 1935 and 1937. The more than 130 works feature sketches of bridges, riverboats, industry, and architecture from the Pittsburgh region as well as preparatory sketches for the murals Maxo Vanka completed at St. Nicholas in Millvale.

This exhibition adds another dimension to our knowledge of Vanka. Where the work in the collection offers a window to the artist’s process on the murals, the pieces on loan show that Vanka was working on many of the themes, portraits, and scenes in the murals across his creative life. He drew inspiration from peasant life and costume, from Catholic liturgy and religious teaching, and from the landscape and architecture of his beloved Croatia. Many of the pieces on loan can be grouped thematically and demonstrate Vanka’s process, his intense concentration, his gaze.

Special thanks to Marya and John Halderman, Christie Clayton and Michael Burkitt, and Diane Novosel and Sam Iusi. With gratitude to Ana Alba of Alba Art Conservation, Jessica Keister of Steel City Conservation, David Neumann of Arca Fine Art Services, and the team at Rivers of Steel, including Ron Baraff, Ryan Henderson, Carly McCoy, and Chris McGinnis, for helping to make this exhibition possible.

Gledaj! is made possible through a partnership with the Rivers of Steel Heritage Area. Funding was provided in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, Heritage Area Program Fund, Environmental Stewardship Fund, administered by the Rivers of Steel Heritage Corp.

 Exhibition Curator: Steffi Domike

The Vanka Murals Collection is the property of the Society to Preserve the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka.

The Restored Rooms
Permanent Exhibition

The Bost Building was built in 1892 as a hotel and served as the temporary headquarters for the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers during the Homestead Lockout and Strike. Two rooms in the building have been restored to the way they looked in 1892, with original floorboards and period reproduction wallpaper. One room tells the story of the Homestead Strike; the other is currently hosting a small exhibition on the 1919 Steel Strike.

The Homestead Room
Permanent Exhibition

The Homestead Room is a permanent exhibit displaying artifacts and art work specifically related to the Homestead Works. The centerpiece of the exhibit is a 23.5′ long model of the Homestead Works that originally stood in the General Office Building of the mill.


This exhibition offers timed ticketing on Mondays through Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. or by appointment. Closed on federal holidays. $5.00 suggested donation.