By M. Thomas / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Patrick Moore has been named director of The Andy Warhol Museum. After conducting an international search Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh announced Friday that they had chosen one of their own for the position.
He had been serving as interim director of the museum since Eric Shiner stepped down in August 2016 to join the fine-art division of Sotheby’s auction house in New York City. Prior to that, Mr. Moore was museum managing director. He has also served as deputy director and director of development since joining The Warhol in 2011.
Mr. Moore, 54, will be the fifth director of the 88,000-square-foot museum on the North Side that opened in 1994. It is the largest museum on the continent dedicated to a single artist and is credited by tourism officials and others as increasing the city’s hipness factor, attracting conventions and tourists and putting Pittsburgh on the world’s cultural map.
Born in Iowa, Mr. Moore discovered Pittsburgh while a student at Carnegie Mellon University. “I thought of Pittsburgh as a glamorous place, this cosmopolitan city,” he said in an interview Thursday. He received a bachelor’s degree in English literature and theater direction in 1985.
From 1991 to 2001 Mr. Moore was the founding director of The Estate Project for Artists with AIDS, a program of The Alliance for The Arts in New York City. The project addressed the impact of the AIDS crisis on the national arts community through advocacy and digital preservation of cultural artifacts. During that time he worked on fundraising projects with such notable artists as Catherine Opie, Ed Ruscha, Jasper Johns, Nan Goldin and Cindy Sherman, and developed a tribute portfolio to the curator Henry Geldzahler.
He also has extensive public relations and marketing experience, has worked as a journalist and nonfiction author, and is a member of the Producers Guild of America.
When Mr. Moore and his husband, Joaquin Navarro, decided they wanted a change in tempo they thought of Pittsburgh. “I loved my time in New York. I loved my life in Los Angeles,” he said. “But we wanted a different quality of life…The extraordinary thing for me was that we were a married gay couple moving to Pittsburgh and that we were so warmly welcomed here.” The couple live in Highland Park.
Mr. Moore was new business development director at The Persad Center, a Pittsburgh LGBTQ counseling nonprofit, previous to The Warhol.
He said he looks forward to working with museum colleagues to protect and promote Warhol’s legacy through a more in-depth exploration of the artist’s life and achievements and through his influence on new generations of artists.
“It’s so important to us to fight against stereotypes and present him as a three-dimensional person. You’ll be seeing an increase of emphasis on his faith. Many know about New York City and Studio 54 and the high life, but the truth is he did come from these immigrant beginnings. For Andy Warhol to be an openly gay man who did enjoy the high life in New York does not negate the fact that he was a man of deep religious faith.”
He’s also enthusiastic about bringing to fruition a project to digitize Warhol’s films that is being done in partnership with the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Technicolor company MPC, an Oscar-winning creative studio.
“There are a significant number of films that have never been seen by the public. Only the originals exist and it’s perilous to put them into the projector. People think they know Warhol’s films but these will show how experimental and forward looking he was.”
Mr. Moore is realistic about how hands-on he can be with such projects.
“Any museum director these days has to concentrate on raising money. It’s fortunate that I’ve done a lot of that in my career. I have to focus on that to keep the museum safe and healthy.”
But he has no worries that museum programming will suffer.
“I have complete faith in Jessica [Beck] and Jose [Carlos Diaz] and Ben [Harrison]. I have total faith in the curators that we have.”
Michele Fabrizi, chair of The Warhol board, said in a prepared statement “Patrick truly represents a combination of expertise and deep experience in art and business that is perfect for The Warhol. His longstanding relationships both in the larger art world and in Pittsburgh are great assets to the museum, and he has the deep support and respect of our museum board.”
M. Thomas: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1925.