The Andy Warhol Museum
A scenic stroll across the yellow Andy Warhol Bridge AKA the Seventh Street Bridge in Pittsburgh will take you to the largest collection of Andy Warhol’s artworks and archival materials in the world. Welcome to The Warhol.
Pittsburgh is well known for its steel, bridges, football team, pierogies and the three Carnegie museums. In addition, the famously celebrated artist, Andy Warhol, was born in the Steel City and studied art there before moving to NYC to pursue a career and life in art. Around this time, he underwent a name change from Andy Warhola to Andy Warhol.
Getting to know Andy
Andy Warhol’s legend lives on in the Andy Warhol Museum located at 117 Sandusky Street. It is here on seven floors that visitors can see his colorful pop art of everyday consumer products such as the soda bottle and soup can, silkscreen prints and his serial images of famous people such as Marilyn Monroe. The best way to visit is by starting on the seventh floor and then working your way down to The Factory in the basement where you can color a card or do a small art project during specified afternoon hours. The seventh floor showcases Andy’s family life with a concentration on the years 1920-1960 while lower floors exhibit works from the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s. The silver clouds floating in the air on the 5th floor are beyond cool! The Archives consists of time capsules where you can view some of his glass collection and personal items such as letters.
More than just the hits
While the MoMA in NYC exhibits some of Andy’s work; the collection in Pittsburgh is vast and a must-see for fans as it is the best collective representation of Warhol’s diverse interests and works. The museum is highly interactive for visitors, offering audio guides, tactile art reproductions that can be touched, a film and video gallery where you can choose from 100 short films such as Phoney to watch and gallery talks at 11 am and 3 pm.
Visit Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests room where you can pose for a camera (screen test machine) to do your own screen test for 3-4 minutes that will be emailed to you. A brief talk on the silkscreen printing process can be enjoyed, too.
The highlight of my visit was bumping into Donald Warhola, Andy’s nephew, from whom I learned more about the personal side of the artist, film producer who made movies such as Chelsea Girls, and writer who founded the magazine Interview. Donald emphasized that Andy always had a great sense of humor.
Visiting information and tips
The museum is open every day except Monday. Admission is $20 for Adults, $10 for Students and Senior Citizens with half-price admission on Good Fridays. Prepare to spend about 2 hours or more here depending on your level of interest.
The museum’s casual café on the ground entrance floor offers homemade soups, salads, sandwiches and healthy sides plus some cookies all of which can be enjoyed in its sleek, modern and industrial interior.
The Andy Warhol Museum is about a 15-20-minute walk from either Greyhound Bus Station or Amtrak train station in downtown Pittsburgh. So not only will you get exercise but you will be treated to a scenic view of Pittsburgh’s downtown skyline.
Don’t forget to exit through the gift shop to pick up a Warhol memento or another cool item.
More of Andy
Be sure to check out “The Two Andys” mural above Weiner World at 626 Smithfield Street. Perhaps enjoy a hot dog there, too. This fun artwork features Andy Warhol and Andrew Carnegie at a hair salon. While both men are named Andy and from Pittsburgh, they made different but important contributions to society: Warhol in art and Carnegie in the steel industry and philanthropy. You can’t help but notice many references to Carnegie in the Steel City and if you have time check out the Carnegie Museums for Art, Natural History and Science.
Words by Caron R. Luteran
Photos: iStock and Courtesy of The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh