Maxwell King

Maxwell King

Brownsville to Braddock

Paintings and Observations of the Monongahela Valley

Foreword by Maxwell King
Afterword by Ron Baraff

The Monongahela River Valley in Southwestern Pennsylvania is steeped with a rich industrial history. Starting with iron, brass, tin, and glass production, the river towns—from Brownsville to Braddock—ultimately helped make Pittsburgh the one-time steelmaking capital of the world. With this industrial legacy in mind, artist Ron Donoughe set out to document the small towns in this region, one painting at a time.

Over a twelve-month period, he explored the forgotten towns of Brownsville, California, Donora, Charleroi, Monessen, Monongahela, Clairton, Duquesne, McKeesport, Braddock, and the Monongahela River itself. Brownsville to Braddock provides key insight on a forty-mile stretch of river towns. The post-industrial economy led to a decline in manufacturing, and with it, substantial job losses. These towns face many significant challenges, yet there is still beauty to be found. Donoughe finds it as he paints the human spirit through the mills, factories, parks, and homes. The people he meets share their stories of family joy and sorrows, along with a genuine love for the area they call the “Mon Valley.”