Honoring Early Filmmaking Pioneer Lois Weber

A special program honoring the North Side native will feature Turner Classic Movies host Illeana Douglas and film historian Shelley Stamp -

Pittsburgh, PA  –   – 

The Smithsonian-affiliated Senator John Heinz History Center will honor early filmmaking pioneer Lois Weber with a historical marker unveiling and a special program featuring Turner Classic Movies host Illeana Douglas and film historian Shelley Stamp on Thursday, June 13.

Born on Federal Street in Allegheny City (now known as Pittsburgh’s North Side) in 1879, Weber was America’s first woman film director. In an influential career that spanned a quarter of a century, she wrote, directed, produced, and performed in more than 200 films.

At 2 p.m. on June 13, representatives from the Heinz History Center, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and the Allegheny City Society will unveil a new state historical marker in Weber’s honor outside Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Allegheny (1230 Federal Street).

The unveiling will be followed by a reception inside the library. This historical marker unveiling is free and open to the public.

At 7 p.m. on June 13, the History Center will host a special program on film history entitled Lois Weber: Film Pioneer with actor and Turner Classic Movies host Illeana Douglas and Dr. Shelley Stamp, film historian and professor of film and digital media at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Douglas and Stamp will discuss Weber’s body of work as a director and an innovator in early American film, which was featured in their respective work as executive producer and curator on the New York Film Critics Award-winning DVD box set, “Pioneers: First Female Filmmakers.”

Following the program, both Douglas and Stamp will sign copies of their work, which will be available for purchase the evening of the program.

Admission for this evening program is $20 per person. Register online at www.heinzhistorycenter.org/events.

Lois Weber: Film Pioneer is presented in partnership with Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh’s Film & Media Studies Program.

These programs are part of the History Center’s ongoing collecting initiative related to Pittsburgh’s film industry for a potential future exhibition. To learn more about this initiative or to make a donation, please contact Lauren Uhl, Curator, at luhl@heinzhistorycenter.org.

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The Senator John Heinz History Center

The Senator John Heinz History Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and the largest history museum in Pennsylvania, presents American history with a Western Pennsylvania connection. The Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum is a museum within a museum, comprehensively presenting the region’s remarkable sports story through hundreds of artifacts and interactive experiences for visitors of all ages. The History Center and Sports Museum are located at 1212 Smallman Street in the city’s Strip District, and are open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The History Center’s museum system includes the Sports Museum; the Fort Pitt Museum in historic Point State Park; and Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, a National Historic Landmark located in Avella, Pa. in Washington County. More information is available at www.heinzhistorycenter.org.

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