Andy Warhol’s Life

Explore Andy Warhol’s life—from his Pittsburgh roots to his career in New York City.

Early life

Andy Warhol was born Andrew Warhola on August 6, 1928, in a two-room apartment at 73 Orr Street in a working-class neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Carpatho-Rusyn immigrants from an area in the Carpathian Mountains in what is present-day Eastern Slovakia, his parents Andrej and Julia Warhola had three sons, Paul, John, and Andy, the youngest.

Julia Warhol, a thin woman wearing a white hat and dark fur coat, poses with two of her sons. On the left side of the image is John, a school-aged child, wearing a suit and tie. On the right, sitting on Julia's lap, is Andy Warhol, at this point a blonde haired toddler wearing a heavy grey coat.

Unknown, Julia, John, and Andy Warhola, 1932
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
1998.3.5247

In 1934, the family moved to their home at 3252 Dawson Street in Pittsburgh’s South Oakland neighborhood, which was closer to their church St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic. Devout Byzantine Catholics, the family regularly attended mass and observed their Eastern European heritage.

A photograph of Andy Warhol as a young man. His hair is combed back on his head and he smiles with closed lips, wearing a suit jacket and printed tie.

Unknown, Andy Warhol's high school graduation photo, 1945
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
1998.3.5219

As a child, Warhol suffered from Sydenham chorea, a neurological disorder commonly known as St. Vitus dance, characterized by involuntary movements. When the disorder occasionally kept him home from school, Warhol would read comics and Hollywood magazines and play with paper cutouts. Growing up in Depression-era Pittsburgh, the family had few luxuries, but Warhol’s parents bought him his first camera when he was eight years old.

An abstract painting of a man wearing a red shirt picking his nose with his left pointer finger. The background is full of colorful marks.

Andy Warhol, Nosepicker I: Why Pick on Me (originally titled The Lord Gave Me My Face but I Can Pick My Own Nose), 1948
Paul Warhola Family
L2010.2.1

He attended elementary at Holmes School and took free Tam O’Shanter art classes at Carnegie Institute (now Carnegie Museum of Art) taught by Joseph Fitzpatrick, before attending Schenley High School in 1942. Recognizing his son’s talent, Andrej saved money to pay for Warhol’s college education, and he attended Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) from 1945 to 1949.

A photograph of Andy Warhol as a child. He wears a pale blue button up shirt and stands against a solid brown background. His hair is faintly gold, and there is a tint of pink to his cheeks and lips.

Unknown, Andy Warhol as a young boy, ca. 1936
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
1998.3.5218

Health

Throughout his life, Warhol fixated on his physical imperfections. As a child, Sydenham chorea (St. Vitus dance) occasionally kept him bedridden, and he had pigment issues that caused discoloration of his skin, leading to the nicknames “Spot” and “Andy the Red-nosed Warhola.” In response to his perceived physical flaws, Warhol cultivated different looks through his clothing, wigs, cosmetics, and plastic surgery to change the shape of his nose. Later in his life he had premature baldness and massive scars from gunshot wounds suffered in 1968. His lifelong interest in beauty regimes and skin care made its way into his work, with early paintings depicting a nose job, wigs, and pain relief for corns. By the 1980s, Warhol had a near daily exercise regime and took vitamin supplements to improve his hair and skin; he incorporated bodybuilder imagery into his work and exercise equipment populates photographs of his studio.

1950s

Andy Warhol (right) with classmates Philip Pearlstein and Joan Kramer, visiting Rockefeller Center, ca. 1948
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
T595

After graduating from art school with a degree in pictorial design, Warhol moved to New York City to pursue a career as a commercial artist, and he dropped the final “a” in Warhola. He moved with fellow classmate Philip Pearlstein and created a circle of close-knit friends including college friend Leila Davies Singeles and dancer Francesca Boas. His work first appeared in a 1949 issue of Glamour magazine, in which he illustrated a story called “What is Success?” An award-winning illustrator throughout the 1950s, some of his clients included Tiffany & Co., I. Miller Shoes, Fleming-Joffe, Bonwit Teller, Columbia Records, and Vogue.

A magazine article titled Success is a Job in New York. In the bottom of left of the image, a ladder sprouts in front of cartoon drawings of skyscrapers. At the top, a fashionable woman wearing a skirt and blouse and holding a cigarette is sitting on the ladder.

Andy Warhol, "Success is a Job in New York," Glamour magazine, 1949
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
1998.3.2453

Warhol was known for his blotted-line ink drawings, using a process he developed in college and refined in the 1950s. This working method combined drawing with basic printmaking and allowed Warhol to repeat an image and to create multiple illustrations along a similar theme. He could also make color or compositional changes quickly in response to client requests.

A yellow women's high-heeled shoe decorated with red fleur de lis and a red strap.

Andy Warhol, High Heel Shoe, ca. 1955
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
1998.1.1046

In 1952, Julia Warhola moved to New York City to live with her son. Julia was an artist in her own right. Cats and angels were her favorite things to illustrate, and in 1957 Warhol published a book of her drawings, Holy Cats by Andy Warhol’s Mother. Warhol enlisted her to add her feminine and delicate penmanship to hundreds of his drawings, including advertisements, album covers, and book illustrations.

The words A Coloring Book, Drawings by Andy Warhol are written in curling script on a page full of doodles of birds, moons, fruits, and animals, some ow which have been highlighted in blue or pink.

Andy Warhol, A coloring book / drawings by Andy Warhol, 1961
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Gift of Mick Byers
2007.5.1a-b

Warhol self-published a large series of artist’s books in the 1950s. He would hold parties at Serendipity 3, a restaurant and ice cream parlor on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where his friends would help him hand color his books. In 1956, he presented a solo exhibition at the Bodley Gallery called Studies for a Boy Book. These sketchbook drawings of portraits of young men and erotic portrayals of male nudes contrasted with the work of other contemporary gay artists, such as Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, who considered Warhol “too swish.”

A line drawing of the head and torso of a seated male nude facing the left side of the image and leaning his chin on his right hand. His arms and chest have been decorated with tiny hearts.

Andy Warhol, Seated Male Nude Torso, 1950s
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
1998.1.1692

Sexuality

In the early 1950s, many of Warhol’s friends and fellow artists were accepted to show at the Tanager Gallery in New York City, but the works he submitted were rejected because of their subject matter—two men embracing. Warhol was a gay man, and homosexuality was criminalized in 1950s America. Warhol filled sketchbooks in the 1950s with drawings titled Boy Portraits, which were loving, humorous depictions of the male form and studies of feet, torsos, and genitalia. During his foray into film in the 1960s, Warhol did not shy away from sexuality. His films included scenes of sexual escapades, explicit and not—from turning tricks to sleeping. One of Warhol’s earliest films featured his then-boyfriend, poet John Giorno, sleeping nude in the nearly six-hour-long Sleep (1963). Throughout his career, Warhol blurred the lines between his romantic and professional relationships, mixing business and pleasure. Edward Wallowitch, Ted Carey, John Giorno, Jed Johnson, and Jon Gould were some of Warhol’s business associates with whom he also had intimate relationships. He returned to the male—and female—nude in the 1970s with his Sex Parts and Torso series. In the 1980s, Warhol’s focus on the body in his work and return to hand painting corresponded with the early days of the HIV/AIDS public health crisis, which devastated New York City’s arts scene and gay community.

A photograph of And Warhol working at a desk covered in a large sheet of white paper. He is wearing a grey suit and has his left index finger in his mouth as he gazes toward the camera.

Andy Warhol, ca. 1957
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
T849.2

Entrepreneur

As equally as he was an artist, Warhol was an entrepreneur. He kickstarted his career in the 1950s as a commercial illustrator, earning a sizeable revenue to finance his artistic ventures. Warhol grew up during the rise of post-war consumer culture in the U.S. and England and realized the benefit of assembly lines in manufacturing, employing studio assistants and processes to aid his artistic production. Warhol successfully balanced commercial and entrepreneurial endeavors with avant-garde, underground work. He continually pushed himself to experiment in new media—publishing, film, music production, television, fashion, theater—throughout his career and frequently collaborated with artists and brands. Warhol wrote in THE Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again), “Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.”

1960s

A black Coca-Cola bottle sits on the left side of the image, beside a thin grey, cross-hatched block that runs up the left side of the page. The right side of the image is mostly occupied by a similar grey, cross-hatched block which becomes solid black near the top. The beginning of the word Coca-cola is also visible here, disappearing behind the bar on the right of the image.

Andy Warhol, Coca-Cola [2], 1961
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution Dia Center for the Arts
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
1997.1.20

In 1960, Warhol turned his attention to the pop art movement, which began in Britain in the mid-1950s. Everyday life inspired pop artists, and their source material became mass-produced products and commercial artifacts of daily life; commercial products entered into the highly valued fine art space. In 1961, Warhol created his first pop paintings, which were based on comics and ads. Warhol’s 1961 Coca-Cola [2] is a pivotal piece in his career, evidence that his transition from hand-painted works to silkscreens did not happen suddenly. The black and gray composition first sketched then hand painted is a blend of both pop and abstraction, which he turned away from at the beginning of his career before experimenting with it again in the 1980s.

A portrait of Jackie Kennedy against a bright red background. Her skin is pink, her lips are red, and her eyeshadow and earrings are turquoise blue.

Andy Warhol, Red Jackie, 1964
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
1998.1.54

Warhol turned to perhaps his most notable style—photographic silkscreen printing—in 1962. This commercial process allowed him to easily reproduce the images that he appropriated from popular culture. Among Warhol’s first photographic silkscreen works are his paintings of Marilyn Monroe made from a production still from the 1953 film Niagara. In 1962, he began a large series of celebrity portraits, featuring Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and Elizabeth Taylor. Warhol made his series of Campbell’s Soup Cans in 1962 and exhibited them the same year in his first solo pop art exhibition at Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles.

A black and white poster for Andy Warhol's the Chelsea Girls, which depicts Andy Warhol and three women on the left, the shadows on their faces and bodies blending into the black background of the page. The right side of the image features quotes from critics in bold white text.

Film Poster ("The Chelsea Girls," at York Cinema, New York, NY), 1966
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
1998.3.5672

In 1963, Warhol began his series of Death and Disaster paintings that used images from magazines and newspapers as well as police and press photographs of suicides, car crashes, and accidents as source material. Warhol produced a range of films between 1963 and 1968, beginning with his first feature-length film Sleep (1963), five hours and twenty-one minutes of poet John Giorno asleep. His groundbreaking eight-hour-long silent film Empire (1964) features continuous slow motion footage of the Empire State Building in New York City. In 1966, he made his most commercially successful film, the three-hour-long, double-screen The Chelsea Girls.

A black and white photograph of Andy Warhol in his studio, wearing a long-sleeved shirt and black pants, adjusting a camera on a tripod. Another man wearing a white t-shirt and black pants observes.

William John Kennedy, Untitled (Warhol Filming "Taylor Mead's Ass" Suite II of IV), 1964, reprinted 2010
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Gift of KIWI Arts Group
© William John Kennedy, Courtesy of KIWI Arts Group
2013.12.56

In 1964, Warhol moved his studio to a large loft at 231 East 47th Street in midtown Manhattan. Warhol collaborator Billy Name decorated the space with silver paint and aluminum foil, and it became known as the Silver Factory. It was a creative hub for parties and experimentation, from drug use to music and art. Its popularity grew quickly, and it attracted a diverse and inclusive crowd of artists, friends, and celebrities, many of whom posed for short film portraits. With a stationary Bolex camera, from 1964–66 Warhol made almost 500 of these silent four-minute Screen Tests played back in slow motion.

In a still from one of Warhol's a black and white screen test films, Edie Sedgwick looks towards the bottom left of the screen. Her lips are slightly parted. She wears a scarf around her hair and large, dangling earrings that stand out against the black background of the shot.

Andy Warhol, Screen Test: Edie Sedgwick [ST305], 1965
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
© The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, a museum of Carnegie Institute. All rights reserved.
1997.4.113.305

Warhol first began making box sculptures in 1963. Invoking a factory assembly line and enlisting help from his studio assistants at the Silver Factory, he created hundreds of replicas of large supermarket product boxes—including Brillo Boxes, Heinz Boxes, Del Monte Boxes, and more. The finished sculptures were nearly indistinguishable from their cardboard supermarket counterparts, single packing cartons. The Brillo Boxes were first exhibited in 1964 at the Stable Gallery in New York where they were tightly packed and piled high, recalling a grocery warehouse.

Four white boxes with the red and blue Brillo soap pads logo on them sit on a silver floor. On top of them is a smaller, yellow box with the same design and a sticker boasting that it is 3 cents off.

Andy Warhol, Brillo Soap Pads Box, 1964
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
Brillo®, Armaly Brands. All Rights Reserved.
1998.1.706-1998.1.711

Warhol expanded into performance art in 1966 with the debut of his traveling cinematic multimedia performance Exploding Plastic Inevitable, featuring The Velvet Underground and Nico. EPI was an immersive experience with live music, lighting effects, projected film footage, and live dancers.

Three members of The Velvet Underground stand behind a large amp in this black and white photograph. Another band member and the artist Nico sit in front of the amp. The members have all signed the photograph near their picture in green marker or black pen.

Unknown, Display Photograph ("The Velvet Underground and Nico"), 1967
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
1998.3.4563

Running at the same time as EPI was Warhol’s exhibition of Cow Wallpaper and Silver Clouds at Leo Castelli Gallery in New York City. Created with engineer Billy Klüver, the metallic, floating Silver Clouds sculptures are made of silver plastic film filled with helium and air. Choreographer Merce Cunningham saw the sculptures at the opening and asked Warhol if he could use the floating installation as stage décor for his piece Rainforest (1968). The clouds floated among dancers on stage.

One of Andy Warhol's corsets, made of soft beige fabric and able to be laced up.

Corset, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
1998.3.8198.1

Warhol lost the lease on his Silver Factory in 1967 and relocated to the 6th floor of 33 Union Square West. On June 3, 1968, Valerie Solanas, a writer who had appeared in Warhol’s film I, a Man (1967), came into the studio and shot him. Warhol was physically and emotionally scarred by the nearly fatal shooting. This event significantly altered his working practice from an experimental, collaborative approach to a much more guarded one. The shooting damaged eight organs and left scars across his stomach and torso. The incident and numerous surgeries that followed required that he wear a corset for the rest of his life.

A black and white photograph of Andy Warhol wearing dark sunglasses peeking through his American Man piece, which features a grid of images of a man with short hair in a suit.

William John Kennedy, Untitled (Andy Warhol Looking Through American Man), 1964, reprinted 2010
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Gift of Kiwi Arts Group
© William John Kennedy, Courtesy of KIWI Arts Group
2013.12.96

Repetition

In college, Warhol developed a blotted-line technique that combined drawing with basic printmaking. Blotted line allowed him to create a variety of illustrations using the same initial pattern, important to his commercial illustration career when he could bring several ideas to clients. This was the beginning of his lifelong interest to quickly create multiples. Warhol famously quipped, “I want to be a machine,” alluding to his interest in mass production. His most notable style, photographic silkscreen printing, replicated the look of commercial advertising. It gave Warhol a faithful duplication of his source images while allowing him to experiment with various techniques, such as over-printing (printing one color on top of another), registration (aligning colors on a single image), and color combinations. Warhol worked with art assistants and professional printers to produce thousands of silkscreen paintings and print portfolios throughout his lifetime.

1970s

Warhol became increasingly involved in publishing in the late 1960s, becoming fully immersed in the 1970s. In 1969, he co-founded Interview, a magazine devoted to film, fashion, and popular culture that gave him access to the stars. He published his first mass-produced book, Andy Warhol’s Index (Book), in 1967, and THE Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again) was published in 1975. Published posthumously in 1989, The Andy Warhol Diaries chronicle his daily life from November 24, 1976, through February 17, 1987, five days before he died; his assistant and friend Pat Hackett transcribed their daily phone conversations detailing the previous day’s events.

The cover of Inter View magazine, featuring three nude models. One faces away, one lies vertically facing the viewer, and the third faces directly forward, biting his fingers.

Interview - Vol. 1, no. 1 (1969), 1969
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
© Brant Publications, Inc.
1998.3.6318.1

Warhol and Craig Braun designed the cover for The Rolling Stones’s album Sticky Fingers in 1971, and the design was nominated for a Grammy Award. He had been commissioned previously for album cover designs and painted portraits, but in the 1970s he began to receive hundreds of commissions from socialites, music and film stars, and others. He was a regular at Studio 54, the famous New York disco, along with celebrities such as fashion designer Halston, Liza Minnelli, and Bianca Jagger.

A vertical column of four black tickets which read Studio 54 VIP Complimentary Drinks in silver ink.

Andy Warhol, Studio 54, 1978
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
1998.1.427

During this period, Warhol used a Polaroid camera and a tape recorder to document his daily life, from business meetings to star-studded social occasions. He also used Polaroid photographs as source materials for his iconic celebrity portraits and many still lifes throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

A portrait of Richard Nixon with a blue and green face, purple hair, and yellow lips. He is wearing a pink suit and is placed against an orange background. Below the portrait, Warhol has hand-written vote McGovern.

Andy Warhol, Vote McGovern, 1972
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
1998.1.2399

A major 1972 exhibition that signaled Warhol’s renewed focus on painting featured a series of works depicting Chairman Mao. Warhol saw the pervasiveness of Mao’s image in China as akin to Western advertising strategies. By 1974, increasing his painting production, Warhol moved his office to a larger space on the 3rd floor of 860 Broadway on Union Square. The 1970s saw a prolific number of paintings, often including controversial or charged imagery, including Vote McGovern (1972), Ladies and Gentlemen (1975), Skulls (1976), Hammer and Sickle (1976), and Oxidation Paintings (1978), which were created by Warhol friends and studio assistants urinating onto a canvas primed with a metallic paint.

A portrait of a drag queen with warm brown skin wearing a yellow jacket highlighted in green. She is against a purple background, and her hair and mouth have been highlighted in pink.

Andy Warhol, Ladies and Gentlemen, 1975
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution Dia Center for the Arts
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
2002.4.21

Warhol started his largest serial work in 1974, the Time Capsules. He filled, sealed, and sent to storage 569 standard-sized cardboard boxes, 20 filing cabinets (two Time Capsules per cabinet), and a large steamer trunk. Each Time Capsule is filled with ephemera—letters, photographs, publications, recordings, clothing, food, medicine, toys, antiques, ticket stubs, artworks, and more—dating from the 1950s to his death in 1987.

A portrait of Mick Jagger looking over his shoulder toward the viewer. His hair is brown, skin orange, and his jaw, eyes, and cheeks are highlighted with turquoise.

Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger, 1975
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution Dia Center for the Arts
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
1997.1.8b

Celebrity

Warhol was infatuated with Hollywood celebrity and fame since childhood. He wrote to movie stars for headshots and fan photos, assembling scrapbooks between 1938 and 1941. In the 1960s, The Factory became a hangout for artists, musicians, and writers, including Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Truman Capote, and many more. Warhol’s Superstars, including Edie Sedgwick, Brigid Berlin, Ondine, and Candy Darling, were Factory goers who appeared in his films and became fixtures in his social life. In the 1970s, Warhol was a regular at the New York disco Studio 54, and he received hundreds of portrait commissions from wealthy socialites, musicians, and film stars. He remained in the spotlight in the 1980s with his television work and high-fashion modeling. Warhol achieved stardom, and helped others do the same, realizing his expression, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”

The contents of one of Andy Warhol's time capsules. Mostly papers, some photographs, small books, and pieces of art.

Andy Warhol, Time Capsule 100, 1973-1974; Bulk: 1974
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
TC100

Collecting

Central to Warhol’s practice were collecting and documenting. He collected everything from watches to cookie jars, and his largest serial work, Time Capsules, encapsulated items from his daily life from the 1950s to his death. He documented the world around him not only through his paintings and films, but also through his tape recorder and Polaroid photography, capturing his encounters, both mundane and magnificent.

1980s

A gelatin silver print of a wide-eyed Kenny Scharf standing with Madonna, who is wearing heavy eye makeup and a printed cap. Juan Debose stands slightly behind them wearing dark sun glasses, a dark suit, and a white tie, and Keith Haring's glasses-adorned face is also visible in profile on the right side of the image.

Andy Warhol, Kenny Scharf, Madonna, Juan Dubose and Keith Haring, ca. 1983
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
2001.2.220

Throughout his career, Warhol frequently collaborated with artists, and in 1984 he worked with young artists Jean-Michel Basquiat, Francesco Clemente, and Keith Haring. When working with Basquiat and Clemente, each artist worked independently on the canvas before passing it along, the artist’s individual marks remaining distinct and recognizable signs and logos becoming part of the compositions. Warhol also returned to hand painting with a brush in the 1980s, something he had set aside in the 1960s in favor of the silkscreen.

Ten punching bags which have been painted white with black words and line-drawings of Jesus's face hang in a row by silver chains attached to a high ceiling.

Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Ten Punching Bags (Last Supper), 1985-1986
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
1998.1.791a-j

Warhol took an interest in television and produced two cable shows, Andy Warhol’s T.V. (1980–83) and Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes (1985–87) for MTV. He also made television appearances on The Love Boat and Saturday Night Live, appeared in both print and television commercials, produced music videos, and modeled in fashion shows. Continuing his artistic experimentation, Warhol made a series of digital artworks in 1985 using an Amiga 1000.

White-haired Andy Warhol, wearing glasses and a purple sweater over a burgundy turtleneck, places his arm around young African-American boy wearing and NYPD badge.

Andy Warhol, Andy Warhol’s T.V. [season 2, episode 9], 1983
1” videotape, color, sound, 30 minutes
©2017 The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, a museum of Carnegie Institute. All rights reserved.

During the latter part of his career, Warhol again experimented with abstraction. His Rorschachs (1984) and Camouflages (1986) had no identifiable subject, a notable departure from his earlier works, though they were still immediately recognizable images.

An abstract painting comprised of splotches of black ink that is symmetrical across a vertical axis down the center of the painting.

Andy Warhol, Rorschach, 1984
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
1998.1.296

In 1984, Warhol was commissioned by Alexander Iolas—who also gave Warhol his first solo show in 1952—to create a series of paintings to be installed opposite the convent where Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper is housed. This commission resulted in one of Warhol’s largest bodies of work, comprised of about one hundred works featuring da Vinci’s The Last Supper.

Andy Warhol's blue face stares intently out of a dark background in this print, his hair spiked up dramatically.

Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait, 1986
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
1998.1.814

Nine months before his death, Warhol created a series of iconic monumental self-portraits featuring his gaunt face, fixed gaze, and a spiky wig, some of the canvases measuring nine feet square.

Photograph of Andy Warhol's headstone in autumn. In the background, other headstones, including a large headstone with the name Warhola across the top, can be seen.

Andy Warhol's grave with Campbell's Soup can,
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh
R2009.6

On February 22, 1987, Warhol died at New York Hospital in Manhattan due to complications following a surgery to remove his gall bladder. Warhol is buried next to his mother and father at St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery in Bethel Park, a suburb south of Pittsburgh.

A black and white screen print of The Last supper, overlaid by vertical columns of red, pink, yellow and blue color of varying lengths.

Andy Warhol, The Last Supper, 1986
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
1998.1.2126

Religion

Warhol was born into a devout Byzantine Catholic family that attended mass at Pittsburgh’s St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church. Later in life in New York City, Warhol regularly attended St. Vincent Ferrer to pray and to attend mass. As a child, Warhol would have seen the richly painted iconostasis during mass and learned about this wall of icons and their role in worship in Eastern Catholic churches. Warhol painted religious symbols using imagery such as Raphael’s Madonna, Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, and the cross as source material.

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.

Andy Warhol, The East Village Other, 1966

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Location

The Andy Warhol Museum
117 Sandusky Street
Pittsburgh, PA
15212-5890

Located on the North Shore at Sandusky and East General Robinson Streets, The Warhol is across the Andy Warhol bridge from downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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Museum parking is $8 in The Warhol lot. The lot is located on the northeast corner of Sandusky and East General Robinson Streets, and the entrance is on East General Robinson Street.

Additional public parking is available north of the museum in the East General Robinson Street parking garage. Prices vary.

The Warhol bridge is closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The Rachel Carson Bridge at Ninth Street is used as a detour.

Café and Store

A woman in printed pants and a blazer stands at the counter in the Andy Warhol Cafe. The walls are white brick, and three gray lights hang over the counter. Against the left side of the images, two boys sit at a counter that looks out the window to the street.

Photo by Dean Kaufman

The Warhol Café

The café is open during museum hours and accessible without museum admission. It serves seasonal fare, including soups, salads, sandwiches, snacks, and specialty coffee drinks.

A man in a beige jacket stands at a counter in the Andy Warhol Store. The room is filled with tables and displays featuring books, soup cans, screen prints, and other warhol memorabilia. A quote painted above the shelves on the back wall reads Wasting money puts you in a real party mood.

Photo by Dean Kaufman

The Warhol Store

The store is open during museum hours and accessible without museum admission. It offers books, calendars, posters, stationery, and accessories, alongside Warhol-inspired items and artist-made goods.

Accessibility

The Warhol is committed to providing an excellent experience to visitors of all backgrounds and abilities. Learn about our accessibility accommodations, or write to access@warhol.org or call 412.237.8354.

Accessibility accommodations

Two men pose for a picture. The man on the left has short black hair, a mustache, and a beard, and wears a bandana around his neck. He sits in a wheelchair. The man on the right has brown hair, rectangular black glasses, and has his arm around the man on the left.

Photo by Joseph Smith