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What Is the Andy Warhol Museum?

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  • Last Modified Date: 22 August 2016
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The Andy Warhol Museum is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, art museum dedicated primarily to the work of 20th-century American artist Andy Warhol. As an artist, Warhol worked in a variety of media, and is renowned for challenging the boundaries between fine art and popular culture. The Andy Warhol Museum houses an extremely large collection of the artist’s work, which is sometimes supplemented by temporary exhibitions of work by other artists that bear some relevance to Warhol. In addition to its galleries, the museum features a gift shop, a café, and an archive which is sometimes open to researchers.

There are two primary reasons behind the choice to establish the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. First of all, though Warhol spent most of his adult life in New York City, he was born and raised in Pittsburgh and studied design at the city’s Carnegie Institute of Technology. Secondly, the museum is managed by the Carnegie Museums, a cultural organization linked to industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie which operates four museums in Pittsburgh.

Throughout his career, Andy Warhol experimented in a variety of media, including painting, filmmaking, screenprinting, and sculpture. His brightly colored images of pop icons such as Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe as well as his renderings of mass-produced objects like soup cans are familiar to a great many people. Overall, Warhol’s work is seen by many to push the boundaries that traditionally separate fine art from mass culture.

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With a collection of more than 8,000 Warhol pieces, the Andy Warhol Museum is the largest museum dedicated to a single artist in the United States. While at the museum, visitors can wander through 17 galleries, the majority of which display a rotating selection of pieces from the museum’s extensive collection. At any one time, these galleries typically feature works in several different media, such as photographs, films, and paintings. Often, Warhol’s work is supplemented by smaller, temporary exhibitions of work by artists whose output is somehow relevant to Warhol and his oeuvre.

In addition to its galleries, the Andy Warhol Museum also houses a café and a gift shop. Additionally, the museum is home to an extensive Warhol archive featuring items like scrapbooks, wigs, publicity materials, and a wide range of other objects that belonged to the artist. This archive is sometimes open to researchers. To access the archive, it is generally necessary to secure permission from museum staff in advance of one’s visit.

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jmc88
Post 5

@TreeMan - I have to say that it does seem like the museum is very large and that makes me wonder exactly if I need to go visit it, just as a casual observer and not exactly someone that is an art enthusiast.

I feel like this place would be great if one is studying the man and studying the evolution and expanse of his work, but what about someone that only wants to look at paintings?

I feel like it is a place that would be great for artists and art majors, but for a casual observer I am wondering if it is really a place where one that is merely a tourist wants to visit while they are visiting what the city of Pittsburgh has to offer.

TreeMan
Post 4

@JimmyT - That is quite interesting and I have to say that there is always a connection between two icons of the same city.

What I found interesting in my visit to the Andy Warhol Museum is just the sheer size of it.

The whole place is massive and it is almost impossible for someone to see everything they have in just one visit and that does not even count what they keep in the back that the public never gets to see.

I honestly believe that Warhol was a genius and that he was not just an artist that painted things people deem to be unoriginal. By showcasing the whole extent of his paintings in a giant setting one gets to see the artistic genius that he was and get to see his style change over time in a very large sample and not just his famous paintings.

JimmyT
Post 3

@jcraig - You are correct. By visiting this museum one can see that Andy Warhol was more than just the man that made the Campbell's Tomato Soup painting.

In reality he painted thousands of works related to things transcending the concept of art and popular culture and this is what one learns when they visit this museum.

What I find very interesting about the location of this museum is in Pittsburgh as Warhol studied at a Carnegie institute of learning. Carnegie was an icon of the city of Pittsburgh and Warhol was one of the many students that found success in the schools that Carnegie funded.

jcraig
Post 2

I have to say I find it quite amazing that the Andy Warhol museum contains over 8000 different pieces only by one artist. I imagine there are even more that have not been discovered yet and will find their way to this museum someday.

This in itself shows what kind of artist Andy Warhol was and the extent of his work. It comes to no surprise that this museum is the largest in the world dedicated to one artist and that it allows the people who visit a great opportunity to see the large extent of his work and all the different periods he went through during his career.

I like to think that this museum is available to people

that would appreciate his work, but due to the expanse of it I see that it is probably also good for people who do not know much about him to see exactly all he has done and get a good glimpse at this man.

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