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A Pop Of Art: Why You Should Visit The Andy Warhol Museum

( Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait, 1986. The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. 1998.1.814)

Andy Warhol changed the way I view the role of the artist. Until Warhol, artists witnessed the world and expressed their perspectives. Warhol became a part of the narrative as he defined the American art movement and popular culture. Warhol's seamless blend of culture and art created Pop Art as the style of art he is most often associated with. To understand this artistic maverick, a person needs to understand the factors and choices that gave him the confidence to be a part of the story. The Warhol Museum combines visual, audio, and kinetic learning to create a complete picture of the life and legacy of Andy Warhol. I had the chance to speak with Nicole D., Director of Learning & Public Engagement, to learn why you should visit the museum.

(Image courtesy of the Andy Warhol Museum. Photo by Dean Kaufman)

1. Why should someone visit the museum?

The Andy Warhol Museum is the largest single-artist museum in North America, and it’s located here in Pittsburgh, the place of Andy Warhol’s birth! The museum offers many art viewing and artmaking experiences on any given day. From the many works of Warhol and special exhibitions throughout the year to silkscreen printing in The Factory, the museum’s artmaking studio, there’s a little something for everyone at The Warhol!

(Video courtesy of the Andy Warhol Museum)

2. How has the museum evolved since its founding?

Since the museum’s founding in 1994, the museum has grown and expanded through its forward thinking special exhibitions, rich public programs and performances, and a robust offering of educational programming for all ages. Our hope is to continue to maintain Warhol’s relevancy by expanding our reach locally, nationally, and internationally.

3. How does the museum honor the life of Andy Warhol?

Our mission is to engage and inspire through Warhol’s life, art, and legacy. The life story of Andy Warhol, is complex and inspirational, and guides our work in all that we do. We continue to honor his life and work by ensuring that the museum is a place to express and explore multiple perspectives, push boundaries, and challenge conventions…just like Warhol did!

(Image courtesy of The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Image depicts Grace Kelly (1984) Prints screen print on Lenox Museum Board 40 x 32 in. (101.6 x 81.3 cm.) 1998.1.2479)


4. How has the museum evolved in the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic?

Our Learning and Public Engagement department rapidly adapted our on-site programming by pivoting to online learning and digital engagement during the COVID-19 closures. Our MakingIt video series available on YouTube was our first rapid response. By adapting Warhol’s artistic processes and techniques using common, household materials, we were able to reach students, families, and makers of all ages virtually from the comfort of home. The series has really popular…..we even won a Kids in Museums Award for the Best International Digital Activity Family Friendly Museum From Home! We also launched our Virtual Tour offerings. Through live videoconferencing, participants can discuss works of art in our galleries, watch presentations, and participate in live art making activities while sharing in two-way conversations with museum educators. We’ve tailored many of our online lessons exploring Warhol’s life, artistic practice, and legacy for a virtual experience and we’ve been tailoring our virtual experiences for groups based on their unique needs.

(Image courtesy of the Andy Warhol Museum)

5. What are the different ways the museum engages with different generational stakeholders?

We have numerous offerings for groups of all ages:

Half Pint Prints: Families work with The Warhol’s artist educators to create silkscreen prints during this drop-in silkscreen printing activity for children ages 1 to 4 years old.

K12 School Programs: Tours and Workshops for K12 audiences at the museum and Artist in School Partnerships in the schools.

Teen Programs: A robust offering of teen programing from Youth Invasion, Youth Arts Council, Youth Open Studio, and Teen Fashion Show.

LGBTQ+ Programming: An LGBTQ+ Youth Prom, School of Drag and Pop Out

Outreach Programs: Outreach within the community

Pop Generation: For the generation that inspired Warhol, Pop Generation is a program exclusively for older adults, age 65 and over, which takes place multiple times a year

Accessibility Programming: An in school Art & Autism program, Sensory Friendly Days at the museum, Sensory Friendly Silent Disco, Tactile Art Reproductions.

(Image courtesy of the Andy Warhol Museum)

6. What is the future of the museum?

We will be everchanging to meet the needs of our growing audiences. We will continue to experiment and innovate, pushing the boundaries of what a museum can be. We believe that The Warhol is “more than a museum”, and I can’t wait to find out how much more we can be!

(Image courtesy of the Andy Warhol Museum)


Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my blog! Please reach out if you have any ideas for content, partnerships, and more!

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