Back Issues
Carnegie Museums

Some of the sites
on the tour:

The Warhola home in Oakland.

St. Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church in Greenfield.

Carnegie Museum of Art

Schenley High School in Oakland

The Andy Warhol Museum

St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Bethel Park







New Travel Package Features
Warhol’s Pittsburgh Tour

Tourists from all over the world come to The Andy Warhol Museum to get a closer look at the artist’s groundbreaking creations. But for some, that’s not enough: They want evidence of the humble life that young Andrew Warhola led before his transformation into Andy Warhol, pop-culture icon.

Until now, they were on their own—no doubt tangling with confusing Pittsburgh maps as they tried to figure out how to get to Bethel Park’s St. John the Baptist Cemetery, where Warhol is buried, or Oakland’s Schenley High School, where the building blocks of his artistic career were stacked.

But The Andy Warhol Museum and the Greater Pittsburgh Convention and Visitors Bureau (GPCVB) have come to the rescue. The bureau has put into action an idea from Colleen Russell Criste, the Warhol’s assistant director for External Affairs—a package titled Andy Warhol’s Pittsburgh. It gives travelers the opportunity to follow the path of Warhol’s early life in an organized form —including clear directions to each site.

Relatives visiting for the holidays, curious couples looking for something different to do, and pairs of any sort—or multiples thereof—may now purchase tickets that include admission to The Warhol and Carnegie Museum of Art, plus detailed information for self-guided tours to the important landmarks of Warhol’s first 21 years. It also includes passes for the UltraViolet Loop, a Saturday-night bus service that ferries riders to hip spots on the Pittsburgh social scene. Several Pittsburgh hotels are offering special rates to package buyers.

“In 2002, we presented this idea in a proposal to the Cultural and Heritage Tourism department of the GPCVB,” says Criste. “The vision was that rather than ask the GPCVB to support another short-term project like a special exhibition, we should establish a packaged tour that could have a longer life span and support not only The Warhol, but also the other amenities around the city of Pittsburgh that relate to Warhol’s life here.”

“This is like ‘All Things Andy,’” says Tinsy Lipchak, GPCVB’s executive director of Cultural and Heritage Tourism.

According to Criste, even casual Warhol fans want more information about the environment from which a shy boy emerged to become an enigmatic giant of the art world.

“Out-of-town visitors frequently walk in our doors wondering why The Warhol is in Pittsburgh rather than New York City. Once they learn that Warhol was born and educated here, they often indicate that they would like to see places around Pittsburgh that highlight Warhol’s formative years,” she says.

Many of the sites on the tour are in Oakland or nearby. Besides the cemetery where Warhol is buried, the only other semi-distant site is the Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church in McKees Rocks, where Warhol’s funeral service was held. If trekkers want the real Warhol experience —and a serious exercise challenge—they can reach the other sites on foot, just like Warhol did. They are: St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church in Greenfield, where the Warhola family worshiped; the family home at 3252 Dawson Street in Oakland, where he grew up; and Carnegie Mellon University in Oakland.

Warhol’s art training began years earlier at Oakland’s Carnegie Museum of Art, where he attended special Saturday classes for outstanding art students. Admission to the Museum of Art gives automatic access to the adjoining Carnegie Museum of Natural History, where Warhol and his fellow students spent time sketching the museum’s famed dinosaur skeletons, and Carnegie Library, where he roamed the stacks in search of information for class assignments.
Besides some good photo ops, the tour will give visitors something else: a more concise picture of the once blue-collar city in which a boy raised during the Depression found the drive and inspiration to go out and change the world.
Packages are $30 per couple and may be purchased online, along with separate hotel reservations, through the GPCVB at www.visitpittsburgh.com, or by calling 1.888.849.4753.

Featured Favorite
Elvis 11 Times

When Andy Warhol chose to re-create a postcard publicity photo from the 1960 Elvis Presley western, Flaming Star, he managed to instill in it a duality that represents both the character and the man: The macho cowboy commands, “Stay away!” while the sexy heartthrob subliminally beckons, “Come get me.”

That double message shoots from those eyes, their straight-on stare so intense that they appear to X-ray your very soul. It jumps from the implied swagger of that I-dare-you-to-mess-with-me stance, gun aimed and ready to fire, and the suggestiveness of that partly unbuttoned shirt, strong jaw, and plump bottom lip.

Then it multiplies until it becomes Elvis Eleven Times, one of the most dramatic, imposing, and popular pieces in The Andy Warhol Museum’s collection.
There’s a playful irony in Warhol’s decision to turn a silver-screen image into a silver-screened, larger-than-life portrait, but the bigger irony is that he never planned for it to appear the way it does at all.

According to The Warhol Museum Director Thomas Sokolowski, the whole is the sum of several parts. Warhol made his silk-screened images in assembly-line fashion, Sokolowski explains. “He would paint multiple images on fabric, then cut it into sections, like buying fabric by the yard.”

When the works were brought to the museum from the estate, Fred Hughes, Warhol’s business manager and executor of his estate, told the museum to leave the canvas untouched.

“There’s really no evidence that Warhol would have chosen to do it that way, but it works,” Sokolowski says, adding that Warhol just might have decided he approved of Elvis Eleven Times, given his propensity to place replicated images together. After all, he did once declare, “I like things to be the same over and over again.” (He prefaced that by saying, “I like boring things,” but that hardly applies in this case.)

Warhol produced many Elvis canvases in color and in silver, but there’s no evidence that the real Elvis had any knowledge of them. If he did, there’s no record of his opinion, according to Sokolowski.

Back to Contents


Copyright (c) 2003 CARNEGIE magazine. All rights reserved.