An art museum collection may seem a static thing, but interest in specific works often changes over time. National or global trends, the art market or unexpected gifts may give cause for reexamining and rehanging a collection.
The Andy Warhol Museum has for two years been doing just that driven by its forthcoming 20th anniversary. In addition, since his death in 1987 interest in the artist has continued to grow internationally among both the general public and scholars.
Numerous exhibitions and research projects exploring Warhol's art and his life have produced substantive support for regarding him as one of the great artists of the 20th century. One important factor is the pivotal role he played in the democratization of subject matter, media, inquiry and commercialization of what was previously a rarefied and controlled specialty arena of high contemporary art.
The archivists and curators of the museum have contributed significantly to knowledge of Warhol's early history and, by extrapolation, influences that formed his curiosity, creativity and work. These are addressed on the museum's seventh floor. The collection continues chronologically on floors six through three. Changing exhibitions, such as the "Halston and Warhol" show that will open later in the week, will be presented on the second floor.
Among objects displayed throughout the building are paintings, music, installations, archival materials and a galley containing more than 70 selections from the artist's films, video work and television series.
Post-Gazette art critic Mary Thomas: email@example.com or 412-263-1925.