A Day in Pittsburgh - The Andy Warhol Museum

The man himself.

Yesterday, I enjoyed an artistic tour of Pittsburg with my parents, cousin, and her fiance.  We started at the Phipps Conservatory, and then moved on to The Andy Warhol Museum.

My mom is an artist, and I am an art enthusiast.  So when we got the opportunity to check out the Warhol, we were super excited!  I have always been a fan of Warhol's work, but I never knew much about his life or his background. For instance: I had always thought he was from London.  But nope! He was from Pittsburgh, just like my dad.

Another interesting parallel to my own background was that Warhol's parents were Slovakian immigrants, just like my grandmother's parents.  As a result, Warhol's upbringing bore traits of a strong Slovakian Catholic influence, much like my father's, and to a small degree, my own.

"Bathtub," by Andy Warhol

Andy was somewhat of an eccentric individual.  Most known for his pop art (Campbell's soup can, Jackie O, etc), Warhol loved to experiment with various mediums, such as screen printing, stamping, contour ink drawing, and even using masking tape to create texture on his work.  This proclivity for experimentation carried over to his choice of subject matter.  Subjects ranged from household items (like the photo above), animals, Chairman Mao, celebrities, drag queens, and phallically themed images. Warhol also dabbled in film--particularly pornography.

Graphic prints of flowers - a more tame choice of subject matter.

My favorite Warhol pieces are his blocking and screen prints infused with pops of bright color, like the ones pictured above.  My dad bought me a great print of a blue cat, and Warhol's last supper print is high on my wish list for my next print.

Andy Warhol's stuffed lion.

In addition to viewing pieces of art I had never seen before and learning of Warhol's upbringing, the museum offered up some factoids about Warhol's personal life and hobbies.  One such strange hobby was his taxidermy collection.  Andy was fascinated by taxidermy, and owned several stuffed animals, including the lion pictured above.  He also was the owner of a stuffed, prized Great Dane known as Cecil.

A final, more dramatic fact about Warhol's life was that he was shot in 1968.  The shot tore through Andy's core, destroying his spleen and intestines and nearly costing his life.  As a result, he had to wear a corset to hold his internal organs in place.  Warhol owned a collection brightly colored, customized corsets that he wore for the rest of his life.

I have always been a big museum fan, and the Warhol was definitely one of my favorite art exhibitions.  I highly recommend it if you're ever in Pittsburgh!

And with that, I am off for more family adventures.

Have an amazing Saturday night!

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