The eclectic artist, made famous by Campbell’s Soup Cans and silkscreened Marilyns, achieved world fame, but no city was as influential in the making of Andy Warhol as New York. Not surprisingly his work continues to grace the walls of the city’s most notable museums and galleries. Come September 18, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will showcase its first major exhibition of the artist. "Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years" will be shown in the Tisch Galleries through December 31. The exhibit is broken up into five sections that comprise paintings (including Turquoise Marilyn), sculpture, and films. The 45 Warhol pieces are intertwined with 100 works by 60 contemporary artists, such as Jeff Koons, Richard Avedon, and Cindy Sherman, whose work reflects Warhol art.
The Met, however, isn’t the only place to get a glimpse at Warhol’s life. Upon moving to the Big Apple in 1949, the artist left a trail that lets you follow in his footsteps even today. Here are some spots that truly pop!
Fifth Avenue at Central Park South
Start your morning at the luminous Palm Court (their croissant-and-danish-filled pastry basket has Warhol written all over it). According to Victor Bockris’ The Life and Death of Andy Warhol,, the artist frequently came to The Plaza for breakfast, then lingered outside the restaurant in hopes of being mistaken for Truman Capote, his celebrity idol.
225 East 60th St.
In his days as a commercial artist, Warhol’s sweet tooth lured him to Serendipity (New York’s first coffee house boutique, which was then located on 58th Street), where he would roll out dozens of those whimsical shoes over coffee and pastries. One could even say it was his first Factory, since it was here that he started selling the watercolor footwear for $15 to $25. See if you’ll have Andy’s luck of paying your tab with a sketch.
New York Public Library (Mid-Manhattan Library)
455 Fifth Ave., 3rd Fl.
Looking for inspiration? Peruse thousands of prints, posters, photographs (even postcards!) at the library’s Picture Collections and maybe you’ll come up with a million dollar idea for a painting. Turns out Warhol permanently borrowed a page from the Advertising-Soft Drinks folder to whip up the 1962 Coca-Cola paintings (as seen at the Met and pictured above). Bonus: ask the librarian to show you an original Warhol – a holiday card that was gifted to the former Picture Collection curator.
346 Madison Ave.
Landing numerous illustrations of women’s accessories in Glamour and Harper’s Bazaar allowed Warhol to upgrade his wardrobe – he started with Brooks Brothers. Throughout the years his loyalty never faltered as he frequented the flagship store on Madison to stockpile on ties, socks, shirts, and pajamas. You can still purchase the white button down oxford shirt and put your own spin on that iconic collar.
Leo Castelli Gallery
18 E 77 St.
Much of the artist’s success can be attributed to Leo Castelli, whose gallery promoted more than 40 exhibitions between 1964 and 2011. Collaborating with Castelli – who also represented art-world heavyweights like Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, and James Rosenquist – meant a great deal to Warhol since the gallery served as the epicenter for Pop, Minimal, and Conceptual Art.
The lower section of the Upper East Side that borders Midtown
Stroll by Warhol’s most luxurious residence, located at 57 East 66 St., between Park and Madison. He purchased the neoclassical townhouse for $310,000 (estimated worth today: more than $30 million). Stop by the Church of Saint Vincent Ferrer (869 Lexington Ave. at 66th Street) and sit in the last pew, a spot Warhol dubbed his own, and admire the gorgeous cerulean strained-glass windows. Or meander to Bloomingdales, stopping by the antique shops along the way. Don’t hesitate to unleash the shopaholic within by seeing if you can find a whimsical cookie jar – Warhol had 47!
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