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Andy Warhol Museum nearly done with repurposing, redesign

| Friday, April 11, 2014, 7:13 p.m.
James Knox | Tribune-Review
The newly renovated lobby at The Andy Warhol Museum Friday April 11, 2014 on the North Side.

If you haven't been to the Andy Warhol Museum recently, it's time for a second look.

After 20 years in its North Shore home, the museum is nearing completion of a project to redesign and repurpose its galleries and public spaces with a new vision and visitor-friendly exhibits.

“The culmination of two years' work by the Warhol team, the re-hang is built upon scholarship and exhibitions that the museum has been recognized for internationally ever since its inauguration in 1994,” says Nicholas Chambers, the Milton Fine curator of art at the museum. “It brings together painting, film, television, music, immersive installations and numerous other aspects of Warhol's life and work — revealing the manner in which Warhol fundamentally redefined our understanding who an artist could be.”

The most significant change is a major redesign of its collection galleries, which are chronologically organized across five of the museum's seven floors.

After the new installation is completed, masterpieces of Warhol's art from the collection, as well as archival materials, will change periodically to allow frequent visitors a wider view of items from the museum's extensive collection.

“To keep the content fresh, the curatorial team will rotate artworks in all galleries on a frequent basis. It will be a fun experience and definitely worth a visit if you haven't been to the museum in a while,” says Eric Shiner, director of the Andy Warhol Museum, who declined to put a price tag on the project.

New exhibits will allow visitors to explore Warhol's work with moving images in a gallery where more than 70 full-length selections of the artist's films, video work and television series will be presented on large monitors with touch screens

A seventh floor will offer information and artifacts about Warhol's beginning in Pittsburgh that include pieces from the Warhola family collection of rare paintings and photographs.

Already completed and in use are a new first floor designed to serve as a comfortable social hub, an iPad bar that encourages visitors to surf the Web to learn about Warhol as well as recharge their personal devices, and a store three times larger than its predecessor.

Also nearing completion are a newly created installation, the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, an interpretation of Warhol's iconic multimedia performance; The Office, a space dedicated to Warhol's studio environment; and a new expanded cafe on the first floor.

Renovations should be completed in time for the Warhol's 20th anniversary gala May 17.

“We can't wait to share the new look and feel of the Warhol with our visitors,” Shiner says. “Our goal is to both engage and educate our guests so that everyone leaves with a true understanding of who Andy was and why he matters so much.”

Alice T. Carter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7808 or

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