The Andy Warhol Museum has intrigued me ever since I moved to Pittsburgh in 1997. One of my first art class requirements was to visit the museum to see the temporary Salvador Dali exhibit. The Warhol has always inspired me to pursue new paths creatively and challenged me to look at art through different lenses.
Since I regard the museum so highly, I was extremely honored to have the opportunity to tour the home of Warhol Director, Eric Shiner, whose loft is in the Garfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh. As the director, Eric has the enviable role of picking the pieces from the extensive archives and combing the globe for different artists to showcase in temporary exhibits. WIth his name attached to such an esteemed art collection I was curious to see how his role affects his personal art choices.
What would Eric Shiner’s personal gallery look like?
Photography by Jenny Karlsson
Originally a car dealership and garage, architects Doug and Liza Cruze tackled the renovation of the 2,500 square foot space. The ground floor stairway opens to an art filled hallway, with pieces in precise rows. Wood aligns the walls throughout the hallway, kitchen and into main area. Like a gallery, the loft is open and flexible, divided more by visuals and functions than solid walls. The exposed rafters and industrial elements enhance this spaciousness created by the open floor plan.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from a curator’s home. There were subtle hints of Shiner’s day job in a few Warhol style pieces, but overall, Eric imbues so much more of his personality in his private space. As we toured and talked, I shared with Eric a question I ponder every now and then. What would Andy Warhol be like today if he were still alive? Like Shiner, would he see the merits of our Steeltown and choose Pittsburgh as the place to leave his mark on the art world? We’ll never know, but Pittsburgh is fortunate to have both Warhol’s history and Eric Shiner’s interpretation of it.
I want to thank Eric for taking the time to let us tour his space, Emily Meyer for coordinating everything and Jenny Karlsson for the photography.