000A. THE PRIVATE MUSEUMS - The Andy Warhol Museum 11.15.13 JPG 

 

 

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was home turf for an extraordinary group of people: billionaires H.J. Heinz, H.C. Frick, the Andrews, Carnegie and Mellon; sports icons Arnold Palmer, Roberto Clemente; performers Perry Como, Gene Kelly, Christina Aguilera; composer Henry Mancini, playwright August Wilson and enigmatic artists Jenny Holzer and Andy Warhol.

 

Born to immigrant parents from what is now Slovakia, Andy Warhola, was born and raised in Pittsburgh until he moved to New York City to seek his fortune as a commercial artist.  He dropped the “a” from his name en route and became the legendary Andy Warhol.

 

Warhol helped give birth to what is known as Pop Art by reproducing consumer products such as Brillo soap pads and Campbell’s soup cans as works of art using printmaking and silk-screening processes.  He felt great pride in his work but always kept one eye on its business side, referring to it all as “business art”.  He believed that, “Making money is art, and working is art, and good business is the best art.”

 

He named all his studios in New York “The Factory” and, like Henry Ford before him, he undertook his mass production of art in them.  “The Factory” was where Warhol and his “muses” produced his paintings, portraits, lithographs, prints, wallpaper, films, videos, books, and “Interview” magazine.

 

Upon his untimely death at age 59, Warhol returned home to Pittsburgh to be buried in St. John the Baptist Cemetery where his admirers often place a can of Campbell’s soup on his tombstone in lieu of flowers.  The city bridge named after him that crosses the Allegheny River in downtown Pittsburgh leads to his spectacular 7-storey Museum, the most comprehensive single-artist museum in the world.  Designed by Richard Gluckman, the Museum contains 8000 works of art; 2000 prints, 900 paintings, 100 sculptures, 60 feature films, 4000 videos, 4000 photographs, 200 screen tests and an archive of all aspects of Warhol’s everyday life in over 600 large cardboard boxes that he called “Time Capsules”.  Each contains thousands of items, from his daily newspapers, airplane tickets, menus, invitations, unpaid bills, stamps, grocery flyers, coupons, to wigs and even food.  These boxes, that span a period of 30 years, are slowly being opened by a team of librarians, sorted, numbered and catalogued.

 

Days can be spent admiring well-known Warhol paintings of consumer products; silk-screens of celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley, Marlon Brando, Jacqueline Kennedy; the Death and Disaster series of disturbing imagery of car crashes; videos of varied lengths and hours-long films.  Additional time is needed to browse through the many issues of Interview magazine and Warhol’s several books.

 

A special treat, three times a week, is a Gallery Talk by Donald Warhola, one of Andy’s 10 nieces and nephews.  It is fascinating to hear him speak, justifiably proudly and fondly, of Warhola family history and his annual New York visits to see Uncle Andy.

 

Hours: Tuesday – Thursday, Saturday and Sunday: 10:00AM – 5:00PM 

Friday: 10:00AM – 10:00PM

Admission: Adults: $20. Students & Children: $10.  Fridays: Half Price, 5:00 – 10:00PM

Location: 117 Sandusky Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15212   Tel: (412) 237-8300

www.warhol.org

 

 





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