Notable Course: Art, Visual Culture and Tourism

On November 10, 2011, students in Rosemary O’Neill’s class, Art, Visual Culture and Tourism joined Thomas Kiedrowski, author of Andy Warhol’s New York City: Four Walks Uptown to Downtown, for an architectural tour highlighting Warhol’s residence, studios, factories, and other haunts on the Upper East Side and Union Square.  From his 1960-1974 residence on Lexington Avenue and 89th Street, where he lived while working on signature series in silkscreen, to the “Warhol’s Firehouse Studio” within blocks of his home on 159 East 87th Street, students were given insight into Warhol’s working processes and artistic circles though Kiedrowski’s research gathered from archives, artists, and friends who shared their recollections of his production in various city locations.

Students also visited the former Truman Capote Residence at Park Avenue and 87th Street, frequented by Warhol upon his arrival in New York in the early 1950s in hopes of engaging with young and well-known figures in the arts, and St. Thomas More Church, which was also attended by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.  Returning to Union Square, students visited Warhol’s 2nd Factory located between 16th and 17th Street students in the Moorish style Decker Building, where the artist established Andy Warhol Films, Inc.  The Andy Monument by Rob Pruitt, commissioned by the Public Art Fund, is located in the area where Warhol was known to distribute Interview magazine to those passing by.  Situated in front of the artist’s 3rd Factory on 17th Street and Broadway, Pruitt rendered the artist is rendered in silver chrome with his characteristic camera and Bloomingdale’s bag reminding the public how much of Warhol’s work is connected to Union Square from the 1960s to the mid 1980s and his important links with photography, film, and fashion. Kiedrowski has gained international attention with his Warhol tours, which have been the subject of articles in The New York Times and Vogue Magazine.

-Rosemary O’Neill

 

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