Saturday afternoon Myles and I went to an annual Carpatho-Rusyn event. There were folk singers, dancing, artisan demonstrations, ethnic food--all the makings of a Pittsburgh church picnic except instead of at a church this was held at the Warhol Museum.
Yeah you read that right.
This was the 9th annual Carpatho-Rusyn Event hosted at the Warhol. Andy Warhol's birth name was Andrew Warhola. His parents were Carpatho-Rusyn emigres from Mikova, which is now in Slovokia. He had dropped the "a" to Americanize his name further, to distance himself from his Old World-in-America upbringing. The rest of his family that remains in Pittsburgh continue to use the Warhola name.
In front of the Warhol-Basquiat collaboration Ten Punching Bags (Last Supper) and near several of Warhol's other Last Supper silkscreens played a slideshow of Warhola family photos. The accompanying soundtrack was recently restored recordings of Julia Warhola (Warhol's mother) singing a capella (of course) Rusyn hymns and chants as well as some folk songs. She made the recordings in the 1950s after she followed Warhol to New York to help take care of him (and his cats). That was absolutely beautiful and such an historic treasure played for the first time publicly on Saturday.
Marvelous. Related: "Transubstantiating the Culture: Andy Warhol's Secret" from Godspy.
And check out this book, which I had several years ago and was supposed to write about for OSV, but I don't think I ever did...ahem. Sorry, David! The Religious Art of Andy Warhol.