After catching up with family and friends, of course, we look forward every time we are home in the US to paying visits to the life we once lived. One full of museum visits, and baseball games, and all sorts of Pittsburgh fun.
Early in our visit we drove past the Warhol Museum on the North Side. Brigid yelled out, "Hey, when are we going to the Warhol anyway?" We had barely arrived, scarcely started to map out our time, and she was ready to see cow wallpaper.
The collection at the Warhol was recently re-hung for the museum’s 20th anniversary. Much like the show that traveled Asia, the works were shown in chronological order. Once again, I really enjoyed seeing more of Warhol’s early commercial work since that is very important to his evolution as an artist. One interesting thing I learned, too, was that only once in his entire career was Warhol ever sued for copyright infringement. It happened long before he was very famous, and it was by the original photographer of the image used in his Flowers series. It was settled our of court. We also saw some of the art that had been excluded from the Beijing stop of the traveling show, like the portraits and the wallpaper of Chairman Mao.
Of course, for Myles and Brigid, part of the fun of an afternoon at the Warhol is The Factory, where we can produce our own Warhol-inspired works. This time we worked on blotted line technique, which is very time consuming but an interesting process, and, of course, silk screening.
There was also a place within the museum that we could make our own Warhol-style screen tests. Both Myles and Brigid sat, being filmed for two and three quarters minutes. Shortly after in my email I received the files, both, like Warhol’s screen tests, slowed down to last about four minutes. The resulting films are just like Warhol’s, both dark and dreamy.
These are only screen captures. While I can watch and delight in four minutes of silent film of my kids making faces, I’m sure it is not for everyone.
The Warhol is definitely among our must-sees when we are home, likely helped by the fact that our membership to the Carnegie Museums also includes the Warhol.
This post first appeared on jenambrose.com on July 29, 2014.
Jennifer Ambrose hails from Western Pennsylvania and misses it terribly. She still maintains an intense devotion to the Pittsburgh Steelers. She has lived in China since 2006 and is currently an at-home mother. With her husband Randy and children Myles and Brigid, she resides outside the Sixth Ring Road in Changping, northwest of Beijing
Photos: Jennifer Ambrose