Art & Architecture Tour 2022 | Day 9

Our Adventure Continues
Day 9 | Return to Pittsburgh Then to Cincinnati

We're Back in Pittsburgh

As promised, we return to Pittsburgh for the sole purpose of seeing the Andy Warhol Museum. And, it was well worth the deviation off of the ‘plan’. 

Andy Warhol has been recognized as one of the most influential American pop artists of all time.  As an artist, film director and producer, he was on the cutting edge of being the art industry’s most prolific self promoters. Warhol’s success in all forms of visual arts has left an industry that is still going 36 years after he passed away.

Known for creating his work with a team of artists in his studio known as ‘The Factory’, he invited a large group of distinguished creatives like himself to be a part of his culture. Along with the distinction of being popular with other creative individuals like himself, he also attracted the social elites and wealthy patrons. 

For more on Andy Warhol, here is a link that will better describe he and his career in more detail.

The Warhol Museum

The museum itself is designed as a Factory for displaying the large collection of his iconic art including his films. Seven floors of the museum house his works from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s; special exhibits of other artists; a creative interactive space for ‘trying your hand at art’ and an Archives Study Center which holds his personal collection of ephemera totaling many thousands of items. 

More on Warhol

Andrew Warhola was born in 1928 in Pittsburgh, PA., to Eastern Slovakian parents. Andy Warhol began drawing and taking photographs at an early age with the encouragement of his parents. He was fortunate to take art classes at the Carnegie Institute prior to his high schools years and he attended the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) after high school. Growing up he was afflicted with health issues that he had to deal with in ways that affected him psychologically and creatively.

Warhol started his career as a commercial artist in New York City and was widely sought after by magazines and companies such as Tiffany & Co., Columbia Records, Bonwit Teller and Vogue.

There is so much more to tell about Andy Warhol (we haven’t even touched on his personal life) so I’ll leave it up to you to go searching for it. This is a pretty good place to start if you are so inclined. 

For me, seeing the work of this creative genius was not just visually interesting but gave me a new perspective on how he approached his life and career while up against obstacles that would discourage most artists, today. 

So, with that, we leave Pittsburgh and work our way westward to Cincinnati, OH. It’s a long drive from here but we have reservations in a pretty cool hotel in downtown Cincinnati so we’ll see you on Day 10 next!

Extra Final Views of Pittsburgh (Provided by Jay)

Cincinatti, Ohio

After a long afternoon of driving, we make it to Cincinnati, OH, in time to have a leisurely dinner and a self guided tour of the hotel. Our hotel is now called the Hilton Netherland Plaza but when it opened in 1931 at the beginning of the Great Depression, it was called the St. Nicholas Plaza. That name was changed after a very short time (however, it was after the linens, napkins, menus, and bedspreads were monogrammed) due to a copyright issue. The owners, being creative, decided to rename the hotel the  Starrett’s (the owner’s name) Netherland Plaza. Other than a naming faux pas, the hotel serves as an example of fortunate timing (the developer pulled all of his money out of stock market before it crashed), engineering prowess (it was built in around a year) and fine luxury. The depression took its toll though on the original owners and it was sold in 1932 to the original land lessor but the original Netherland Plaza name survived.

Here are a few images to show you what opulence looks like, 1930’s style.  

The Netherland Plaza

The Hilton Netherland Hotel is a prime example of French Art Deco design and is today another National Historic Landmark. It has been temporary home to politicians such as Winston Churchill; actors such as Shirley Temple and Doris Day, and other noteworthy entertainers such as Elvis Presley just to name a very few. 

Tomorrow, we plan on visiting two museums. The Cincinnati Art Museum and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. 

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