Destinations

On the trail of Andy Warhol - in America, Britain, Germany and Slovakia

It's 30 years since the death of Andy Warhol
It's 30 years since the death of Andy Warhol Credit: 2012 AFP/AFP

With today marking 30 years since the death of Andy Warhol, we go on the trail of the pop art master.

Pittsburg

Andy Warhol was born on August 6, 1928 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. His working class family lived at 55 Beelen Street, and later 3252 Dawson Street, a property which was restored a few years ago by the Warhol family (warhola.com/warholahouse.html). He graduated from Schenley High School in 1945 before studying commercial art at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, also in Pittsburg.

The Andy Warhol Museum, at 117 Sandusky Street, houses 900 paintings, 100 sculptures, more than 1,000 prints and 4,000 photographs covering his entire career, from his student years to his becoming an art icon. It also contains Warhol's time capsules. He created 610, each filled with photos and paraphernalia. Entry costs $20 for adults; $10 concessions. See www.warhol.org

His grave is located at St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery in Bethel Park, around five miles south of central Pittsburg.

The Andy Warhol Bridge, across the Allegheny River, is the only bridge in America named after a visual artist.

Pittsburg is one of America's most liveable cities Credit: © Sean Pavone 2012 All RIghts Reserved/Sean Pavone

How to get there

Once best known for its steel industry, Pittsburgh's reputation as a gloomy rust-belt city has changed in recent years - it has been named among America's most liveable cities, was ranked the best US city for foodies by Zagat in 2015, and is now something of a cultural capital.

No airlines fly direct from the UK, so your best bet is to head to an East Coast city first.

New York

Warhol moved to New York City in 1949, where he gained employment at RCA Records designing album covers and promotional material. The city would remain the centre of his world for the rest of his life.

523513953 An insider's guide to New York
01:40

Some of his early efforts were shown at the Bodley Gallery and the Hugo Gallery, both of which are now closed, but the Museum of Modern Art contains more than 100 of his works on paper, as well as several important paintings, such as Gold Marilyn (1962), one of several works based on a publicity photo of Marilyn Monroe, and Campbell's Soup Cans (also 1962). See www.moma.org

Warhol established his own studio - The Factory - in 1962. It had several different locations - the first in his home at 1342 Lexington Avenue (still privately owned), the second at 231 East 47th street (now demolished), and the third on the sixth floor of the Decker Building at 33 Union Square. This is where Warhol survived (barely) an attempted murder in 1968 (The Velvet Underground would later write a song, “Andy’s Chest”, about the incident). The Decker Building is still standing, but is used as office space. Warhol's last home was at 57 East 66th street; his last personal studio was at 158 Madison Avenue.

To experience Warhol's New York, try heading to Serendipity 3 (serendipity3.com), a diner known for its ice cream sundaes which he visited regularly before he was famous.

A post shared by J. Ng (@that.itch) on

Then head to the Hotel Chelsea - which is currently being restored with plans to re-open next year - renowned for its notable former residents, from Leonard Cohen and Iggy Pop, to Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg. It was here that Dylan Thomas died of pneumonia in 1953 and where Nancy Spungen was found stabbled to death in 1978. Warhol shot a film - Chelsea Girls - inside.

You could also visit the site of the former Studio 54 (now a Broadway theatre) at 255 West 54th Street, where Warhol rubbed shoulders with the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Mick Jagger, Truman Capote and Elton John.

Hotel Chelsea - which is currently being restored with plans to re-open next year Credit: Busà Photography/Busà Photography

How to get there

New York is "the most exciting city in the world", according to Douglas Rogers, our expert. Flights from Britain arrive at JFK, La Guardia or Newark airports. British Airways (ba.com), United (united.com), Virgin Atlantic (virgin-atlantic.com), Delta (delta.com) and Continental (continental.com/uk) all offer direct flights.

Los Angeles

Warhol's Marilyn Diptych made its debut at the Ferus Gallery in LA. The Ferus closed in 1966, but the Museum of Contemporary Art is alive and well, and showcases Warhol's work. See www.moca.org

How to get there

"LA is one of the world’s most creative cities," says Lucie Young, our expert. "Its museums and burgeoning gallery scene have an experimental edge that is often missing in other cultural capitals."

British Airways (0844 493 0787; britishairways.com), Virgin Atlantic (0844 209 7777; virgin-atlantic.com), Continental Airlines (0845 607 6760; continental.com), American Airlines (0844 499 7300; aa.com) and United (0845 8444 777; united.com) all fly direct to Los Angeles from the UK.

Britain

Britons can see Warhol's works at the Saatchi Gallery (including Triple Elvis, Marilyn x 100, Most Wanted Man No.11, Atomic Bomb and 16 Jackies); The National Portrait Gallery (including his own photographs of Joan Collins and Mick Jagger); and the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh (232 works, including numerous drawings).

Elvis and Marilyn Credit: 2007 Getty Images/Peter Macdiarmid

Berlin

Book a stay at the Warhol-themed Art'otel Berlin City Centre West (artotels.com) - rooms are adorned with both originals and prints, as well as photographs of the artist. Then head to the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum of Contemporary Art, which also features his work (www.smb.museum/museen-und-einrichtungen/hamburger-bahnhof/home.html).

A post shared by art'otel (@artotel) on

David Bowie, who was strongly influenced by Warhol (he even wrote a song about him on Hunky Dory), spent three crucial years in Berlin, between 1976 and 1979. To tour the Berlin sites associated with Bowie, see our guide.

How to get there

EasyJet (0843 104 1000; easyjet.com) flies direct to Berlin from Gatwick, Luton, Southend, Bristol and Liverpool. British Airways (0844 493 0787; ba.com) and Lufthansa (0871 945 9747; lufthansa.com) fly from Heathrow. Ryanair (0871 246 0000; ryanair.com) flies from Stansted, East Midlands and Edinburgh.

Warhol is celebrated in America, Britain, Germany and Slovakia Credit: 2008 AFP/JOE KLAMAR

Slovakia

Warhol's parents came from Medzilaborce, an obscure Slovakian town. As a result, it is now the unlikely home of the world's second-largest collection of his works (after Pittsburg).

Jonathan Knott visited for Telegraph Travel back in 2014. "A life-size statue of the diminutive Warhol (who dropped the 'a' from his Americanised surname) in front of the building, and a bus stop beside it styled as a Campbell’s soup can, mark this as the Andy Warhol Museum of Modern Art," he wrote.

Medzilaborce, an obscure Slovakian town, is the unlikely home of the world's second-largest collection of his works Credit: 2008 AFP/JOE KLAMAR

"Warhol, who once stated, 'I am from nowhere,' never visited Slovakia. But his brother, John, who was vice president of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in New York, lent his help to a group of local cultural figures who wanted to exhibit Warhol’s art, visiting Medzilaborce several times from the late Eighties onwards. The museum was finally opened in 1991 by the Slovak Ministry of Culture, and today displays 160 Warhol originals."

The museum was opened in 1991 and displays 160 Warhol originals Credit: José Miguel Hernández Hernández/José Miguel Hernández Hernández

How to get there

Entry to the Andy Warhol Museum of Modern Art is €3.50/€1.70 concessions (slovakia.travel/en/andy-warhol-museum-of-modern-art-medzilaborce). There is also a private exhibition of Warhol originals at the Mihal gallery in Kosice. Visits can be arranged by appointment (mihalgallery.sk). Medzilaborce is a two-hour drive from Košice. WizzAir flies to Košice from London Luton.

Please review our commenting policy