Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh





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Making a Difference:

The Without Sanctuary Project                      


 If in the last few months you visited The Andy Warhol Museum via the Seventh Street Bridge from Downtown, you passed beneath a banner claiming  "United We Stand." This post-September 11 attitude, flapping on plastic in the stiff breeze off the Allegheny River, was the same idea that motivated The Warhol to present Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America.


The exhibition on the museum's sixth floor, which ran from September 22 to December 31, 2001, was a visual and visceral reminder that when people divide because of race, they are capable of falling into an almost unimagined cruelty.


While the horrible scenes presented in Without Sanctuary went beyond the imagination of most, they were not artistic expression but historical reality: 100 photographs, many formatted as actual postcards, showing the deaths by hanging of mostly black American men from 1870 to 1960.


According to Margery King, co-director of Without Sanctuary, it was not easy for The Warhol staff to decide to show this difficult material in a public gallery space. In retrospect, however, it has been a highly successful venture for the museum for several reasons. First of all, the exhibition both increased and diversified the museum's audience. "The audience has definitely changed," said King. "We've had more viewers specifically interested in this subject, for instance African Americans, academics, and people interested in history. Our attendance has risen since Without Sanctuary opened," she said. "We've seen a range of  different people we don't usually see at the museum on a regular basis." One visitor, a young man of Indian descent, struggled to express his reasons for visiting: "With things the way they are, I felt I should come," he said. "I just felt I should see it."


Seeing it, however, was not the only opportunity The Warhol provided. The museum also offered viewers the chance to discuss and document the unsettling emotions engendered by the subject matter. Forums, films, performances, a visitor's book, video diaries, and a daily public dialogue were all ways in which the museum's staff allowed those witnessing the exhibit to work through, both alone and with others, the disturbing feelings caused by the photographs.


To plan these programs, The Warhol created a Community Advisory Committee and partnered with many groups outside of the museum. Developing this cooperation was another success story from Without Sanctuary. "I think people who came to the museum specifically to see Without Sanctuary, and also the people who have been so active on the Community Advisory Committee, will definitely remain friends of the museum and be more attuned to what's going on at the museum in the future," King said. "With this show people found out that there's a lot more going on at The Warhol than they thought."


This expanded interest occurred in the media, as well. As a result of  Without Sanctuary, The Warhol was talked about not just in art sections, but in columns, editorials, news stories, history features, and numerous letters to the editor in varied publications. "The museum is to be commended for having the courage and the leadership to take on this

important humanitarian task," wrote Art Critic Mary Thomas in the

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The YWCA went even further in its praise, giving the museum a 2001 Racial Justice Award.


"What was really important about this project was the way people came

together," King said. For those who experienced Without Sanctuary, it

turned the sentiment "United We Stand" from words on a banner into words to live by.


The Without Sanctuary Project was supported, in part, by the Animating Democracy Initiative, a program of Americans for the Arts, funded by The Ford Foundation. Additional support has been provided by The Jewish Healthcare Foundation of Pittsburgh, Lannan Foundation, Santa Fe, and The Three Rivers Community Foundation.



Fresh Off the Wall Performances from Experienced Women

The Andy Warhol Museum's Off the Wall series begins 2002 with two seasoned women artists. Each works solo, observes her chaotic life as a Manhattan resident and citizen of an international art scene, then fashions her perceptions into a brave and revealing performance piece.



Penny Arcade has been around the block more than a few times and has plenty of wicked and wrenching tales to tell about it. Defying Andy Warhol's prediction that everyone will be famous for 15 minutes, this Superstar has been confronting audiences for 30 years with her sometimes lurid, always candid recollections.


At 8 p.m. on January 19, Penny Arcade, a.k.a. Susana Ventura, will present New York Stories, a new work in which she brings to life a whole cast of  Manhattan's underground characters.


Arcade's introduction to the Manhattan underground took place when she was 17 years old and ran away from home to join John Vaccaro's Playhouse of the Ridiculous. Thriving in New York City, the Connecticut native became an Andy Warhol Superstar (starring in his film Women in Revolt), as well as an original member of LaMama theatre.


Since then Aracde has continued as a writer, director, and performer. She is most noted for her show Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore!, which began at New York's PS 122 and toured internationally. The work, which touches on censorship, homophobia, AIDS and prostitution, among other things, has been called "gritty, honest, audience-friendly theatre" and Arcade's performance described as "irresistible."


Holly Hughes, another very well known performance artist,brings her show Preaching to the Perverted  to The Andy Warhol Museum at 8 p.m. on February 23.


Hughes broadened her fame when she (along with Tim Miller, Karen Finley, and John Fleck) sued the National Endowment for the Arts for withdrawing grants on the grounds of indecency. Although in 1998 she lost her case, Hughes has won many fans by turning her battle with the Supreme Court into a piece of theatre.


In the funny yet furious Preaching to the Perverted, Hughes shoots at targets such as Jesse Helms, Bill Clinton, child pornography, lesbian chic, and the Teletubbies. She has been noted nationally for the accuracy of her aim and described as "lyrical, scathing, and hilarious."


Presented in collaboration with New York's PS 122, tickets for Off the Wall are $15; $10 for students. A meet-the-artist reception follows each performance For more information call 412-237-8300 or visit  This series has been supported in part by an anonymous donor. Pittsburgh City Paper is the media sponsor for the Off the Wall series.



big Burrito meets Andy Warhol


There's big news about the little restaurant on the lower level of The Andy Warhol Museum. The 40-seat Warhol Cafe is now being run by big Burrito Restaurant Group, the highly successful local outfit responsible for several of Pittsburgh's most fun and fashionable eateries.


The big Burrito empire began with the original Mad Mex in Oakland, which has become the city's essential late-night bistro. The elegant Casbah in Shadyside, exotic Kaya in the Strip District, newly renovated Soba and Umi on Ellsworth Avenue, and Mad Mex satellites in North Hills and Robinson are also owned by big Burrito.


Chris Noonan, the former sous chef at Casbah, has taken over in The Warhol Café kitchen. He has brought with him several of the restaurant group's signature dishes, including Kaya's Cuban Sandwich (ham, turkey, roast pork and cheese grilled on flatbread with stone-ground mustard) and Casbah's Arugula Salad. In addition to supplying the café's light meals and beverages, big Burrito's Fresh Innovative Catering has become the museum's events caterer.


The Warhol Café is open the same hours as the museum (Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; 10 p.m. on Fridays) and can be visited without paying admission. To inquire about holding a private event at the museum, call 412.237.3431.



The Warhol Honored with Racial Justice Award     156 words


In October, The Andy Warhol Museum received a 2001 Racial Justice Award from the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh. Among the five honorees recognized for involvement in the struggle to eliminate racism, The Warhol was the sole institution in a group of  individuals.


"I think it's really unusual for a museum to receive this kind of honor," said Margery King, associate curator of The Warhol, who accepted the award along with Jessica Arcand, the museum's curator of education. "It was a direct result of bringing a lot of people together to discuss Without Sanctuary, and of people seeing that we were taking it really seriously. It was a huge honor," King continued. "It really integrated the museum into the community."


Also attending the October 17 awards banquet at the Pittsburgh Hilton and Towers were Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh President Ellsworth H. Brown and staff from The Warhol.







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