Patrick Moore resigns as Warhol Museum director

Patrick Moore resigns as Warhol Museum director
Patrick Moore; courtesy of the Andy Warhol Museum.
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After seven years in the position and thirteen at the institution, Patrick Moore is stepping down as director of the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh–but perhaps not for as heated reasons as was first believed. While it was speculated as being driven by controversies surrounding recent decisions by the former director in relation to the museum, the president and CEO of Carnegie Museums, Steven Knapp, responded to ARTnews stating this was not the case.


In a letter to the editor, Knapp explained that Patrick Moore is choosing to step down due to a position offer in Spain, a choice corroborated in Moore’s own statement of choosing to live in the homeland of his husband. “My 13 years at The Warhol have been the most formative of my life,” Moore states, “and I’m so grateful for having been given this opportunity.”


Patrick Moore has been an impactful force for the Warhol Museum for over a decade. It was under his tenure that it expanded its operations beyond the locale of the late pop art icon’s hometown to a global scale. This expansion, however, also contains one of the multiple controversies of Moore’s decisions with the museum, having curated a show in Saudi Arabia. Moore was criticized for choosing to present in an authoritarian and homophobic state, a choice he staunchly defended in an ArtNet piece.


Another incident–one that is still underway–that has been indicative of Moore’s bumpy history at the museum is the Pop District Initiative. The Pop District is a $45 million “creative-economy workforce development project” by the Warhol Museum encompassing six blocks that surround the existent museum. Alongside a massive entertainment structure, it aims to turn the area of Pittsburgh’s eastern North Shore into a multi-purpose arts hub in the coming years. But this move has been deeply criticized within the museum by both employees and higher-ups, with several director-level members retiring since its announcement.


Despite the conflicting nature of Patrick Moore’s time in the position, there is seemingly no ill will between himself and Carnegie Museums, Moore having stated his intention to continue collaborating and supporting the institution from Spain. And while it’s uncertain how the contentious Pop District will progress without him helming it, it’s certain not to be the last we’ll hear of it.