Our 2022 Road Trip #4: Warhol & Friends

Andy Warhol and me!

Come lie on Warhol’s couch and fail to embody him!

As a pop art fan, I’ve braked for Andy Warhol works at our past visits to institutions in Chicago and Columbus, OH. It was great at long last to see the much vaster treasure trove at the Andy Warhol Museum, opened in his hometown of Pittsburgh in 1994. A full five stories are devoted to the artist/filmmaker, plus a couple more stories for bonus content. They’re open late on Fridays, which worked out perfectly for our travel itinerary as well as the schedules of several other visitors, including an entire tour group that we had to weave around as we lollygagged from floor to floor.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Since 1999 Anne and I have taken one road trip each year to a different part of the United States and seen attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home. We’re geeks more accustomed to vicarious life through the windows of pop culture than through in-person adventures. After years of contenting ourselves with everyday life in Indianapolis and any surrounding areas that also had comics and toy shops, we chucked some of our self-imposed limitations and resolved as a team to leave the comforts of home for annual chances to see creative, exciting, breathtaking, outlandish, and/or bewildering new sights in states beyond our own, from the horizons of nature to the limits of imagination, from history’s greatest hits to humanity’s deepest regrets and the sometimes quotidian, sometimes quirky stopovers in between. We’re the Goldens. This is who we are and what we do.

For 2022 we wanted the opposite of Yellowstone. Last year’s vacation was an unforgettable experience, but those nine days and 3500 miles were daunting and grueling. Vermont was closer, smaller, greener, cozier, and slightly cooler. Thus we set aside eight days to venture through the four states that separate us from the Green Mountain State, dawdle there for a bit, and backtrack home…

Warhol Museum!

The museum was a short jaunt from our hotel and PNC Park, so Pirates fans can drop in before games.

Brillo guard station!

You’ll recognize their dedicated parking lot across the corner by its Brillo-themed guard post.

teen Warhol!

Some light coverage of his backstory is provided, as with this blown-up school photo.

kitchenware collection!

Is his kitchenware collection bigger and/or cooler than yours?

stuffed lion!

A stuffed lion from his taxidermy collection.

silver trunk and barstool!

This silver trunk and barstool were props in his films and actual furniture from the Silver Factory, his studio and party HQ. Upon his death, the trunk’s contents included a screenplay by Valerie Solanas whose misplacement was among the reasons she shot him in 1968.

Warhol Holding Marilyn Acetate II!

Lobby decor includes items such as the couch and pic in our lead photo, along with William John Kennedy’s 2010 tribute Untitled (Warhol Holding Marilyn Acetate II).

Love is a Pink Cake!

His collaborations with other artists include 1953’s Love is a Pink Cake (Man Beguiled by Oscar Wilde), done with Ralph Thomas Ward.

Elephant!

His 1985 papier-mâché project untitled (Elephant) was finished with easily recognizable flourishes by Keith Haring.

Truman Capote!

Several works star his friends and associates, such as this eponymous 1979 nod to Truman Capote.

Bobby Short!

Four of his nine 1963 paintings of singer Bobby Short, who remembered sitting for them but never saw them till after Warhol’s death.

John Richardson!

John Richardson, 1974. An art historian and Picasso biographer who gave Warhol’s eulogy at his funeral.

Julian Schnabel!

Julian Schnabel, 1982. A fellow painter and rival of sorts.

The first rooms beyond the front registers are devoted to temporary exhibits. Sometimes they cover Warhol-related topics; sometimes they platform artists adjacent to his fields of interest. All the following come from a gallery of works (whose stay ended August 15th) by Paola Pivi, an Italian artist who resides in Alaska. If you toured the rest of the museum before dwelling on her gallery, one shared connection between Pivi and Warhol was obvious.

shoes!

Pivi’s Untitled (shoes), 2022. Warhol’s shoe fandom has its own room on another floor.

shoes excerpt!

An Untitled (shoes) excerpt.

Bigger than my eyes!

Bigger than my eyes, 2016.

Yee-haw!

Yee-haw (si imbizzarriscono), 2015 — digital art centered around a photo by Hugo Glendinning, whose creation involved releasing stunt horses on the Eiffel Tower (not the first time animals have strode upon it for a cause).

We are the baby gang!

A portion of the 2019 multi-piece We are the baby gang, comprising 26 different bears, each with their own name. Some naming assistance was provided by her partner, whose name is Karma Culture Brothers.

Andy Warhol's sofa!

untitled (Andy Warhol’s sofa), 2022. Tiny reproductions of famous people’s couches are among Pivi’s recurring subjects.

Thus ended our stroll around Pittsburgh’s North Shore, whereupon we retreated to our hotel room and dug into the macarons we’d picked up at lunchtime in Columbus. We’d earned them.

To be continued!

* * * * *

[Link enclosed here to handy checklist for other chapters and for our complete road trip history to date. Follow us on Facebook or via email sign-up for new-entry alerts, or over on Twitter if you want to track my faint signs of life between entries. Thanks for reading!]

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