The New Film and Video Gallery at The Warhol

Most first-time visitors to The Warhol as well as newcomers to Warhol’s history and practice are surprised to learn about the artist’s prolific body of work in film and video. As part of the recent 20th Anniversary rehang of the museum’s collection, the film, video, and television galleries have been re-imagined on our 4th floor – allowing guests to get a taste of just how epic this cannon is.

The new Film and Video gallery contains 12 ‘stations’ for guests to view more than 100 individual works by Warhol. Working with Pittsburgh-based hardware and software experts IonTank, the custom system allows for instantaneous streaming and scrubbing through dozens of hours of content (including the full 8-hour film Empire). Utilizing high definition multi-touch displays, users are presented with a simple, intuitive interface – similar to a large iPad – to swipe and tap across the work divided in to categories of Film, Video and Television. Contextual statements about the genres and individual works enhance the experience. Each station also contains two hard-wired, dynamic stereo headphones as well as jacks for guests who wish to bring their own.

Museum staff review a prototype of the interactive at IonTank's studio in Pittsburgh.

Museum staff review a prototype of the interactive at IonTank‘s studio in Pittsburgh.

The physical design of a viewing gallery is of paramount importance to a meaningful experience. To create a successful design we kept in mind numerous guest ‘typologies’ such as families, scholars, couples on a date, and more. Seating options in the space are split across re-configurable chairs and comfy, custom-designed Herman Miller sofas. One side of the room features a small counter space in front of the screens to allow for study and note-taking. The ceiling is punctuated with sound panels and the floor is covered with carpet to allow patrons to focus on the moving images. The walls are also painted a deep purple color (‘Tulsa Twilight, to be exact) and, along with the low lighting in the space, bring further emphasis to the artwork.

The Film and Video Gallery. Photograph by Richard Stoner.

The Film and Video Gallery. Photograph by Richard Stoner.

So how do guests like the space? Thanks to integrated analytics, we can say it’s quite successful. In the first full month, the system served more than 583 hours of content across more than 1,200 requests! That’s about 25 minutes per patron, which is a very exciting number. In terms of most popular content, the following titles seem to bubble to the surface:

Most-Watched Content In The New Film and Video Gallery

1 AWTV on Saturday Night Live Oct. 3
2 Blow Job
3 AWTV on Saturday night Live Oct. 10
4 The Chelsea Girls
5 AWTV on Saturday Night Live Oct. 31

Perhaps not surprisingly, the episodes of Andy Warhol’s TV on Saturday Night Live as well as Warhol’s most commercially successful film The Chelsea Girls top the list (along with the tantalizingly titled film Blow Job).

The Film and Video Gallery. Photograph by Richard Stoner.

The Film and Video Gallery. Photograph by Richard Stoner.

Recently, The Warhol announced an incredible partnership with MoMA and MPC to digitize Warhol’s entire film output. As part of the museum’s ongoing effort to make this work available, our roadmap will include adding and integrating these new films in to the new 4th floor gallery, making it the one-stop for all Warhol film, video, and television.

Have you visited the new Film and Video gallery? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Josh Jeffery

Manager of Digital Engagement