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Weirdest Museums In Pittsburgh

July 22, 2013 6:00 AM

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

warhol exhibit Weirdest Museums In Pittsburgh

Photo Credit: KDKA

If you think you’ve seen all you can see at an art museum, think again. Not all museums are created equal. Pittsburgh is home to famous traditional art museums but it’s also home to some renowned weird museums too. Feast your senses on the five weirdest museums in Pittsburgh.

The Andy Warhol Museum
117 Sandusky St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
(412) 237-8300
www.warhol.org

Pittsburgh native Andy Warhol is known for his pop art and breathing new life into ordinary everyday objects. What makes the museum on the North Shore worth an extra look are the galleries dedicated completely to Warhol’s self portraits and the affectionately dubbed “Silver Clouds” room that immerses you in the art itself. Take extra time to really study Warhol’s self portraits that span his life to get a sense of where his mind was during some of his weirder artistic phases. To make the museum accessible to Pittsburghers, many discounts and free tickets are available for many different groups. See the website for more information.

Mattress Factory
500 Sampsonia Way
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
(412) 231-3169
www.mattress.org

At first glance, the Mattress Factory is unbelievably strange. Walk through the doors with an open mind when you go to this installation art museum. Located in repurposed houses on the historically significant North Side, the Mattress Factory promises to be a weird adventure from start to finish. Be brave enough to sit in the completely dark room that houses “Pleiades” by James Turrell. Wide-open eyes stare into absolute blackness as the art installation is revealed once your eyes adjust to the darkness. Step into the completely opposite realm when entering mirrored room installations by Yayoi Kusama. A perfect mix of permanent exhibits and ever-changing limited engagement installations, the Mattress Factory brings a sense of humor and mystery to art that is refreshing.

Bayernhof Museum
225 St. Charles Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15215
(412) 782-4231
www.bayernhofmuseum.com

There’s just something inherently strange about a nearly 20,000-square-foot museum full of music boxes and instruments that play themselves. The Bayerhof Museum is dedicated completely to automated music players of a wide variety. The best part? These interesting items are sometimes hidden in secret passages and behind hidden doors. A trip here is absolutely worth the $10 price of admission. Check out the website if you want to read up on the tour, but being surprised by the hidden hallways may make it worth skipping a visit to the website.

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Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
10 Children’s Way
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
(412) 322-5058
www.pittsburghkids.org

The Children’s Museum on the North Side isn’t completely weird. The majority of it is full of just plain old fun, interactive exhibits for kids. The weird comes into play at the newly redesigned Waterplay exhibit. Bring some dry clothes, because visitors to this part of the museum will get wet. Immersive interaction is the key to this exhibit and children are able to get wet from head to toe as they build dams, design water fountains and splash around the magnetic water wall. Over 20 different features make up this wet exhibit.

ToonSeum
945 Liberty Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 232-0199
www.toonseum.org

The curators of ToonSeum, located in the heart of the Cultural District Downtown, are passionately dedicated to celebrating cartooning as a true art form. Cartoons are artwork after all, and this museum draws cartoon readers’ attention back to that simple fact. In addition to exhibits featuring original cartoon artwork, ToonSeum also provides interactive educational classes for kids and frequently offers cartoon drawing workshops. See the website for details about events, classes and workshops.

Related: Best Bizarre Statues Or Public Art In Pittsburgh

Sally Turkovich Wright lives in her beloved city of Pittsburgh with her husband, Jason and German Shepherd, Zeus. She is a policy analyst by training, an eyewear stylist by trade and an amateur healthy-living advocate by choice. She also writes a column for Twoday Magazine. Catch up with her there at twodaymag.com. Her work can be found at Twodaymag.com.

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