A timeline of The Warhol



Feb. 22, 1987

Andy Warhol, Pittsburgh's best-known native artist, dies at age 58 from cardiac arrhythmia following gall bladder surgery at a New York City hospital.

1987-88

Charles B. Wright III offers the Dia Art Foundation's collection of nearly 200 Warhols to a Pittsburgh institution and negotiations begin.

Sept. 8, 1989

Robert Wilburn, president of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, announces that the museum complex plans to purchase the Volkwein Bros. Inc. building at 117 Sandusky St. on the North Side to house The Andy Warhol Museum.

Oct. 1, 1989

Mark Francis, an Oxford-educated curator and art historian, is hired to be director of The Warhol Museum and curator of contemporary art at Carnegie Museum of Art.

November 1992

Work begins on reconfiguring the 77,000-square-foot building, which features seven floors of gallery and exhibition space. Plans are by architect Richard Gluckman.

January 1993

Thomas Armstrong III, who as director of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City became friends with Warhol, is named the museum's second director.

PG graphic: Total attendance
(Click image for larger version)

May 15, 1994

In true Warhol fashion, the $35 million museum bearing his name opens at midnight Saturday, drawing 14,000 in its first 12 hours. "Silver Clouds," a white room that contains dozens of free-floating pillow-shaped Mylar balloons, quickly becomes one of its most popular exhibits. Admission is $5. It draws 62,772 visitors its first year.

June 1994

The Weekend Factory opens shortly after the museum's debut. Now known as The Factory after Warhol's New York studio, it is a hands-on art-making space run by artist educators with unique perspectives on Warhol's art and life.

April 29, 1996

Thomas Sokolowski is appointed the third director. During his tenure, the museum expands its global reach with traveling exhibitions around the world.

Nov. 1, 1997

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc. in New York donates the copyright on all Warhol films and video to the museum.

May 1, 1999

The Warhol launches Good Fridays, an expanded educational and social evening series -- open galleries, films, lectures, live music and special performances -- held every Friday night from 5 to 10 p.m.

Oct. 1, 2000 to April 1, 2012

The Warhol launches the performance series Off the Wall in collaboration with Performance Space 122 (P.S. 122), the pre-eminent performance art venue in New York City. The Warhol later assumes full responsibility for curating and presenting the series, which complements other Pittsburgh cultural events.

March 3, 2002

"Possession Obsession: Andy Warhol and Collecting" debuts, featuring hundreds of collected items from Warhol's personal life.

May 1, 2002

The Warhol launches Youth Invasion, in which local high school students take over the museum for a week each year.

March 18, 2005

To mark the 10th anniversary of the museum's opening, the Seventh Street Bridge is renamed the Andy Warhol Bridge. It is the only bridge in the U.S. named for a visual artist.

Oct. 19, 2006

The museum launches an interactive, education-based component of www.warhol.org to regional, national and international educators.

Feb. 1, 2008

The Andy Warhol Foundation awards a grant to the museum to begin work cataloging more than 600 of the artist's time capsules.

Sept. 26, 2008

In collaboration with The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, the museum presents "13 Most Beautiful ... Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests" as part of the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts.

Dec. 16, 2008

The Warhol begins accounts on Facebook and Twitter.

September 2009

Shepard Fairey opens his popular show "Supply and Demand."

Sept. 1, 2009

First lady Michelle Obama and the spouses of the G-20 leaders lunch at the museum.

Dec. 31, 2010

Tom Sokolowski steps down after 14 years at the helm.

July 8, 2011

Eric Shiner is appointed director. He joined the museum in 2008 as the Milton Fine Curator of Art and had served as acting director since January 2011.

March 17, 2012

"15 Minutes Eternal" -- an exhibition that brings the largest collection of Warhol's work to Asia upon the 25th anniversary of the artist's death -- begins a two-year tour to Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Tokyo, where it closed Tuesday. The exhibit features more than 300 paintings, photographs, screen prints, etc., including his most iconic works of Jacqueline Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Chairman Mao, Campbell's Soup and self-portraits.

Aug. 6, 2012

To mark Warhol's 84th birthday, the museum opens a Screen Test Interactive, which allows visitors to create a film portrait in the way Warhol created his.

Aug. 6, 2013

The museum launches Warhol: Figment, a 24/7 live-cam of Warhol's grave in Bethel Park in partnership with Earthcam.

Oct. 1, 2013

The Warhol debuts a $800,000 redesign of its first floor, giving it a Silver Factory vibe and expanding its gift shop by nearly four times its original size. Admission for adults is now $20, and the museum attracts 119,156 visitors in 2013.

May 2014

The museum undergoes a comprehensive rehang of its galleries to mark its 20th anniversary.

Sources: The Andy Warhol Museum, Post-Gazette newspaper archives and PG research


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