A Trip To The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh

Posted by The G on November 8, 2011 under Artsy Fartsy | Comments are off for this article

Photos by G.  Art by Andy Warhol.

Andy Warhol Museum

Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh

I think Andy Warhol who once said “Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes” has both ruined and saved art all at the same time.  My opinion of Andy Warhol has vacillated throughout the years, but I’ve never gone so far as to dislike him.  Yes, from ex-associates he was not looked upon as a nice guy, but most people who as prolific as Warhol are usually pricks.  It goes with the territory as they operate on different playing fields than us mere mortals and perhaps the extreme creativity of these people clouds their ability for simple things like human compassion.  With great excitement I got to visit the Andy Warhol Museum in his native Pittsburgh and it once again changed my opinion of Warhol.  The 7 floor museum is a must see for Warhol fans.  While the museum is a cursory survey of Warhol’s vast body of work, at best, it is certainly inspiring.

Mylar Balloon Room!

One of my biggest gripes was that several of the floors featured non-Warhol exhibits with occasional works from Andy peppered in.  On the plus side, the works by Warhol were quite impressive as they show what can happen when you hire a creative team to carry out extreme ideas.  As you can see above, one of the highlights for me was a room filled with floating Mylar balloons.  The room had a zen-like vibe juxtaposed with gross excess.  Also on display were collaborations between Warhol and Keith Haring as well as Basquiat.  I was unable to get a photo of those works because a list of rules (including no photos) were posted on every floor.

Warhol Museum Rules

Warhol Museum Rules

Once again, in the same way I feel Warhol saved and ruined art, the “rules” of the museum are both Warholian and anti-Warhol.  He was obviously a rigid control freak, but he also was a pioneer in breaking all the rules.

Hall of Warhol Films

A highlight for me was one of the museum’s current exhibitions which was a room full of TV screens each loaded with an episode from Warhol’s short lived TV show “15 Minutes.”  Warhol got some of the most diverse names in art, music, politics and fashion to appear on his show (read: I watched an interview with singer Laura Brannigan talk about her love for sushi, I saw Andy Warhol do a push-up during an interview with a personal trainer and I watched Frank Zappa dismiss the notion that his works are controversial because he just says what he thinks).  Epic!  There was also a room full of movie theater sized screens showing various Warhol Screen Tests.  On each floor there was a display case with ephemera focusing on various facets of Warhol’s career that included film-making, music, art and magazines.  Should you make a special trip to Pittsburgh to see the Warhol Museum?  That’s for you to decide.  I can say this – the volume and diversity of work that Warhol has his name on is very impressive and while some of it may not change your life, some of it just might.


The Andy Warhol Museum is located at 117 Sandusky Street in Pittsburgh, PA.


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