Warhol in the US: Where to see the iconic pop artist's work

Call him the inventor of the selfie – Andy Warhol embraced new mediums like video, film and Polaroid portraits, using 20th-century America as his subject. Instantly recognizable, the provocative pop art created by this LGBT icon has become the pride of museums across the U.S. Here are our top picks.

A woman eats cake as she looks at a series of pop art portraits by Andy Warhol at a museum in Pittsburgh; Warhol in the US
The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh is the definitive collection of the Pop Artist's work © Archie Carpenter / Getty Images

Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh

A must-see, the Andy Warhol Museum is one of the largest collections of a single artist’s work in North America. Now in its 25th year, the museum in Warhol’s hometown continues to mine the archives of a notorious packrat. The strip photobooth, a favorite Warhol meme, is a popular stop. Temporary exhibits trace his impact on other artists worldwide. With live music, film, and events like Good Fridays, this seven-story museum rocks after hours.

More information: www.warhol.org

A yellow-hued Andy Warhol's hair stands on end, on a stark black background; Warhol in the US
Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait, 1986, The Andy Warhol Museum © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

Museum of Modern Art, New York City

In New York City, Warhol’s influence is unmatched. Three of the Big Apple’s top museums exhibit his work: The Museum of Modern Art holds his iconic Campbell soup cans and Marilyns, for example, while the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art show Warhol’s takes on civil rights struggles and the celebrity of Chairman Mao.

More information: www.moma.org

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

Inside the Walker you’ll find dozens of Warhol’s works, including three self-portraits of the artist in drag. Outside, you’ll find a work he’d probably love – ‘Spoonbridge and Cherry,’ (1985-88) the giant sculpture by fellow Pop hero Claes Oldenburg with Coosje Van Bruggen, punctuates the city’s Sculpture Garden with a splash of bright red. Dine in the Garden at Esker Grove.

More information: walkerart.org

A screen printed portrait of Elizabeth Taylor with garish colors; Warhol in the US
Liz #3 (Early Colored Liz), 1963, Art Institute of Chicago © 2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Art Institute of Chicago

With 214 works in the collection, this museum portrays Warhol’s obsessions with the violence of American culture, as well as his own image in early self-portraits. A major Warhol retrospective runs through January 26, 2020. Located steps from Millennium Park and other five-star attractions, the Institute should be your first stop in the Windy City.

More information: artic.edu  

A black and white image of Annie Oakley is screen printed with colored lines and items; Andy Warhol in the US
Andy Warhol, Cowboys and Indians: Annie Oakley, 1986, Booth Western Art Museum © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Booth Western Art Museum, Cartersville, Georgia

Warhol the cowboy? Well, he wore the boots. This small museum an hour north of Atlanta is home to Warhol's 1986 series Cowboys and Indians, putting Custer and Geronimo alongside movie gunslinger John Wayne. The Booth also holds more than 100 items from the artist’s own collection of Western artifacts.

More information: www.boothmuseum.org

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington

Warhol’s artistic comments on the U.S.’s turbulent 1960s are found, fittingly, on the Washington Mall.  The Smithsonian’s collection holds the works he created after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, including silkscreened images of Jackie Kennedy on the day of her husband’s funeral. She remained one of his favorite subjects.

More information: americanart.si.edu   

Images of Campbell's Soup Cans, one pristine and one shredded, are displayed at a museum in Los Angeles; Warhol in the US
Warhol Campbell Cans, The Broad Museum, Los Angeles © Shutterstock

The Broad, Los Angeles

The popular Broad couldn’t keep its reputation as one of the best contemporary art museums in the world without its Warhols. On Grand Avenue in downtown L.A., his work shines among post-war American artists like Roy Lichtenstein, Cindy Sherman and Jeff Koons. Yayoi Kusama’s mirrored Infinity Rooms are another big draw. Stroll through the museum’s olive grove to Otium, the museum’s signature restaurant.

More information: www.thebroad.org

Two side-by-side images of Jackie Kennedy on a purple background; Warhol in the US

"Jackie II," 1966, Detroit Institute of Arts © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. /Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Institute of Arts Museum, Detroit

Despite financial woes, Detroit has stubbornly held on to its artistic treasures. The DIA goes big, with some of Warhol’s largest silkscreens, including ‘Electric Chair’ (1971). The museum offers a fantastic permanent collection in more than 100 galleries as well as screenings in the Detroit Film Theater.

More information: www.dia.org

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas

Tucked into an Ozark forest north of Fayetteville, this museum, funded by the founding family of Walmart, houses one of Warhol’s signature riffs on consumerism, Coca-Cola. The museum collection also includes Warhol’s photos of New York high life and the screen print ‘Hammer and Sickle.’ 

More information: crystalbridges.org

A row of colorful screen prints featuring Marilyn Monroe; Warhol in America
Marilyn, from a portfolio of ten screenprints, 1968, High Museum of Art, Atlanta © 2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

The High Museum of Art

Hotlanta loves High Art – and high architecture. The double draw is the premiere collection in a Pritzker Prize-winning building in Ansley Park, designed by Richard Meier with an extension by Renzo Piano. This Atlanta standout boasts an impressive 23 Warhol works, including a Marilyn series, and hosts HIGH Frequency parties on first Friday evenings each month.

More information: high.org

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