The United States is proud of its many artists and when we talk about 19th century popular art geniuses, the name of Andy Warhol will always come up. It comes as no surprise that Warhol?s home city Pittsburgh created a museum solely dedicated to his works. It is found on North Shore and is the most extensive museum in the country which displays the works of a single artist.
Representing one of the quartets comprising the city?s Carnegie Museums, it is a joint endeavor of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts or the AWFVA, the Dia Art Foundation and the Carnegie Institute.
The Andy Warhol museum occupies an area of 8,200 square meters or 88 thousand square foot and has seven levels. Definitely one of the most expansive and comprehensive depository of Warhol?s masterpieces, the museum features seventeen galleries boasting of more than 4,350 Warhol movies and other video captured masterpieces, 4,000 pictures, more than 1,000 individual prints that were published, approximately 2,000 sketches on paper, 77 sculptures, and 900 paintings. Aside from the museum in Pittsburgh, the Andy Warhol museum has funded 56 roaming exhibits which started in 1996 and were viewed by almost 9 million individuals in 153 locations worldwide.
Ideas for the Andy Warhol Museum were first put forward in October of 1989, which is around two and a half years following the pop art icon?s demise. The Dia Foundation and the AWFVA donated the initial works that were featured in the facility which is approximated to amount to 80 million dollars. The museum?s first director was name in 1993 in the person of Thomas N. Armstrong III who played a significant role in the Whitney Museum of American Art. To date, the AWFVA has donated an estimated 3,000 works by Andy Warhol.
The Andy Warhol Museum debuted on May 13, 1994 and during its opening weekend the museum drew in an estimated 25,000 guests. The operations of the museum started rough that in fact, the first director Armstrong quit only nine months after the museum. Nevertheless, the Andy Warhol Museum stands today as the premier resource of information for scholars and academicians researching about the life and works of Warhol as well as pop art enthusiasts who want to admire the great artists? works.
Those who want to visit the Andy Warhol Museum might want to time their trip on a Friday. Fondly known as Good Fridays, the museum?s hour is extended and from 5pm to 10pm, admission fee is at 50% off. There are also other activities offered during Fridays such as intimated theatre plays, wine tasting and live music.
Visitors who want to take home a souvenir of their visit to the museum should not miss a visit to the Warhol Store where they can purchase an array of items such as fashion apparels, postcards, books and posters. But for those who might not get the chance to visit the Andy Warhol Museum but still want to get hold of these items may do so online via the museum?s online stores. Aside from the shop, there is also the Warhol Caf? where quick and light fares and beverages. There are also a number of restaurants in close proximity to the museum for more epicurean choices.
The popularity of the Andy Warhol Museum draws in more than 100,000 visitors per year, which include celebrities and personalities from different fields. Some of the notable people who have visited the museum include singers Bono, Mick Jagger and Nelly Furtado; fashion designers Marc Jacobs and Donna Karan; first lady Michelle Obama and even Prince Andrew Duke of York.