Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh





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Joel Wachs, president of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Andy Warhol’s older brothers John and Paul, Mayor Tom Murphy, Director Tom Sokolowski.

Mail Model

U.S. Postal Service Issues the Andy Warhol Stamp


It was a stampede at Pittsburgh's Andy Warhol Museum on August 9 as avid collectors, city leaders, and Postal Service officials all turned out for the First Day of Issue ceremony and unveiling of the Andy Warhol postage stamp.


Several hundred people gathered in the entrance gallery of the North Side venue for the Friday afternoon festivities. Dozens claimed chairs set around a stage on which a large prototype of the stamp was draped in black velvet. Many more darted into the museum shop to buy post cards, then joined a long line to purchase stamps in an ad hoc post office near the coatroom.


Carnegie members Jim Pierce and Robert Barker were there to mark the occasion. "I bought seven Andy Warhol post cards. I'll keep one and I'm sending the rest out of state with the first day of issue cancellation,"

Pierce said. "It's really rare for a stamp to be opened in Pittsburgh," he noted.


In addition to being sold individually, the stamps were also available in a commemorative pane of 20. Jim Williamson, of Moon Township, said he attended because he's a stamp collector (philatelist). "I'm buying for myself and for each of my kids," he said. The selvage of the pane includes the artist's own words: "If you want to know all about Andy Warhol, just

look at the surface: of my paintings and films and me, and there I am. There's nothing behind it."


On sale only in Pittsburgh on this first day of issue, the 37-cent stamp features Warhol's "Self-Portrait, 1964." Painted when the artist was in his mid-30s, before he adopted his famous wig, the picture depicts a confident

young man in a black tee shirt posed against a vivid teal background. Sixty-one million Andy Warhol stamps went into circulation across the country the day after the ceremony.


During the dedication, Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy proclaimed it to be Andy Warhol Day and paid tribute to the "artist's enduring impact." On a lighter note, the mayor mentioned that when he was younger, he was told he could win an Andy Warhol look alike contest.


Andy Warhol Museum Director Tom Sokolowski, wearing a tee shirt printed with the image from the stamp, told the audience: "Andy Warhol was born to

poverty, but through sheer tenacity and hard work he became the most influential artist of the second half of the 20th century."


In from New York for the occasion was Joel Wachs, president of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Wachs congratulated the Postal Service for its choice, and also said, "I don't know a museum anywhere that has accomplished as much in such a short time as the Andy Warhol Museum."


As the drape was pulled from the image, the Andy Warhol postage stamp got its due: applause and cheering from the large crowd. The event proved that

even in the era of e-mail, the popularity of philately still sticks.

John Fleck

Off the Wall

A double dose of drag divas and a deeply personal evening of dance theatre will be presented by the Andy Warhol Museum's "Off the Wall" series in November and December.


Infamous "NEA Four" member John Fleck is up first on November 2 with his outrageous comedy, Nothin' Beats Pussy. Based on his own Hollywood experience from films like The Naked Gun and Waterworld, Fleck portrays starlets Pussy and Del Cracker with low-camp burlesque, kitschy music, and even puppets.


Up next is Shequida's Popera on November 23. A drag queen with a five-octave vocal range, it's been said that Shequida sings so well and is so glamorous she makes Kathleen Battle look like a church mouse. The

creator of Opera for Dummies, in this new show Shequida sends up singers from Jessye Norman to Cher, and does a few straightforward numbers as well.


On December 14, dancer Maura Nguyen Donohue brings in When You're Old Enough. Through stories and choreography, the piece depicts her experiences

as a young woman of Vietnamese and American heritage searching for her identity.


All events begin at 8 p.m. and a meet the artist reception follows each performance. Tickets are $15 or $10 for students. For more information, call 412.237.8300.




Art fans are used to seeing huge Warhol exhibits, such as the 250-piece retrospective of mostly paintings displayed this year at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. But there's a quieter, less splashy side

of the artist too and, appropriately, a show of this work begins November 22 at a quieter, less splashy venue: the Juniata College Museum of Art.


Curated by the Warhol Museum's Paper Conservator, Wendy Bennett, Happy Warholidays features Christmas-themed drawings, prints, and objects created by Andy Warhol in the 1950s. Included are Christmas cards made by the artist for Tiffany's, graphics done for commercial clients, and personal

drawings with subjects ranging from elves and poinsettia to religious images such as the Madonna and Child.


"My favorite is a monkey with a Christmas ornament hanging from its tail," said Bennett, whose specialty is restoring works of art on paper. She describes Andy Warhol as a great draftsman and notes that his signature monoprint style is displayed in this show. Also apparent, in both technique and choice of subject matter, are his Carpatho-Rusyn background and Eastern Rite Catholic upbringing.


Happy Warholidays runs through Christmas at the museum, which is located in Huntingdon, PA, near Altoona.




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