Warhol Museum drops plan of opening branch in New York
March 21, 2015 12:05 AM
The Andy Warhol Museum, which opened May 15, 1994, on the North Side.
By Marylynne Pitz / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Andy Warhol Museum has dropped plans to build a 10,000-square-foot branch in New York City.
Eric Shiner, director of The Warhol, said in a statement Friday night that “The Andy Warhol Museum, which had been exploring its participation in the Essex Crossing development in lower Manhattan, has determined that it will not proceed with the project. Despite the efforts of both the museum and the developers, an internal study of business and other operational considerations led the museum to this decision.
“The Warhol will continue to participate in programs, exhibitions, and special projects in New York City through its longstanding collaborations with a variety of New York-based arts organizations.”
Mr. Shiner had announced the venture last May during a black-tie dinner that celebrated the 20th anniversary of the North Shore museum, which interprets the life and work of the internationally known pop artist and Pittsburgh native.
The museum’s branch was to be part of a 6-acre development on the Lower East Side in Seward Park, a barren stretch of parking lots and chain-link fences. Negotiations for the project began in 2012, when David M. Hillenbrand, former president and CEO of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, had approved the initiative.
Jo Ellen Parker, president and CEO of the Carnegie, and Bill Hunt, chairman of the board of trustees of the Carnegie Institute, did not respond to requests for comment
Risa B. Heller, spokeswoman for Delancey Street Associates, a consortium of three developers that won approval for the New York project, said, "For the past two years we have worked closely with The Andy Warhol Museum to find a way to bring Andy home to New York's Lower East Side. We have dedicated tremendous time and resources and offered them a very generous multimillion dollar package to make this work. We found out today and are surprised and disappointed that they are unable to see this through. We are hard at work looking for another exciting use for this great space."
In May, Mr. Shiner said having a New York presence "is like having a chance to exhibit more of the collection to a wider, more international audience and to encourage more people to come to Pittsburgh to see everything we have as well,"
Delancey was to pay for the cost of building the museum branch, which had a target opening date of 2017.
The location was apt. When Andy Warhola moved to New York in 1949, his first apartment was in Lower Manhattan on St. Mark's Place. The Lower East Side teemed in the 1900s with immigrants whose lives of assimilation and struggle paralleled the experience of Warhol's parents, Andrej and Julia Warhola.
Marylynne Pitz: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1648.
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