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 US.

In celebration of his birthday on August 6, we take a look at the top spots to see his work in the US.

The exterior of the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: he definitive collection of the Pop Artist's work © NatalieSchorr / Shutterstock

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. 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.

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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.

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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.

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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. Located steps from Millennium Park and other five-star attractions, the Institute should be your first stop in the Windy City.

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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.

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Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC

Warhol’s artistic comments on the US’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.

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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 Los Angeles, 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.

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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

Throughout its history of industrial boom, decline and recent rebirth, Detroit has stubbornly held on to its artistic treasures. The Detroit Institute of Art 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.

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Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas

Tucked into an Ozark forest north of Fayetteville, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, 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.’ 

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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, Atlanta

Atlanta loves High Museum of 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.

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This article was first published Nov 5, 2019 and updated Jul 22, 2022.

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