Pittsburgh is unique in that, for a city of its size, it has many world-renowned museums, and it is made even more unique with its incredible Andy Warhol Museum. There are many single-artist museums in the world, but The Andy Warhol Museum is the largest in North America and holds the largest collection of Warhol artworks. This uniqueness of the Andy Warhol Museum is the reason I chose to visit and check it out for myself.
|[Photo of the exterior of the Andy Warhol Museum.
Photo courtesy of Joshua Yoon]
When visiting the Andy Warhol Museum, I didn't expect to see and learn as much about him as I had at school or in books. To me, Warhol was just a hipster who created the Coca-Cola and Campbell Soup paintings, but I actually learned a lot more than I expected. I was pleasantly surprised at the uniqueness of the museum. Hence, I wanted to share my experience with others through this article and encourage future artists to visit this wonderful museum. The first thing I saw was the sketches he created as a child, which were done with his mother. Most of his drawings were simplistic, yet unique, consisting of angels, and animals. Later after college, Warhol became interested in drawing brands and products such as women's shoes. These drawings sound simple enough, but Warhol made all his drawings incredibly detailed and had a style that I think can’t be replicated by anyone else. I also saw some of the works he created in his adult years, such as the Campbell Soup can design, Coca-Cola bottle design, silkscreen prints of important figures, a skull, and a do-it-yourself drawing. One of my favorite pieces of artwork is the “Do It Yourself (Sailboat), 1962”. Warhol used the simplest of pieces, like children’s do-it-yourself sketches. He used this concept in a way that encouraged others to create their own art by filling in the missing pieces or painting by numbers on the do-it-yourself sketches. This allowed people to visualize what these prints were meant to show.
Another artwork I enjoyed was the “Gun, 1981-1982” because this was when Warhol started to think about death. Warhol was almost murdered by a known associate named Valerie Solanas, which led him to print many items such as skulls and guns to represent the attempt on his life. The moving gun is an exceptional piece since Warhol layered multiple prints of the gun to show that it was shaking. The image of this gun was also a representation of Warhol’s realization that he, like any other man, can be overcome by death. The artworks that I did not enjoy were the films directed by Warhol and his anatomy drawings. Much of his films were very shaky and did not seem well made. For the anatomy works, Warhol drew a lot of weird stuff from the human body. I can understand the need to draw scientific images of human anatomy, but I believe some of the elements were inappropriate.
The mission statement of the Warhol museum is, “To engage and inspire through Warhol’s life, art, and legacy.” It was created as a global destination for scholarship and learning about Warhol’s life, art, and relevance to contemporary culture. The main audience is anyone who wishes to learn about Warhol’s career and life. The museum is laid out in a way that promotes the sharing, preserving, and interpreting of Warhol’s collection. People can see the artwork without any glass cases stopping them from getting up close. Many of Warhol’s original films are also shown throughout the museum, and it is estimated that there are 350 preserved. Finally, the museum has an archive that contains documents from Warhol’s life, and Warhol’s serial work the Time Capsules— which comprises 610 containers that the artist filled, sealed, and sent to storage. This storage unit is closed to the public but can be seen through windows.
|[Photo of a photograph of Andy Warhol holding an acetate film of Marilyn Monroe.
Photo courtesy of Warhol.org]
Overall, I had a great experience viewing Warhol's work and discovered that even the most generic and simplest of images can be art. Many people visiting the museum want to see how Warhol transformed things according to his vision. I believe this unique style and displays enticed curious people to flock to the museum. Warhol and his work truly deserve to be displayed in this museum that is dedicated solely to him.
Pine-Richland High School
Joshua Yoon email@example.com
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