Andy Warhol: Back on the Bay with Myths and Legends


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Andy Warhol is back on the bay – at least his art is back.

Warhol and his art are were here 43 years ago at the opening of the Art Museum of South Texas.  I moved to Corpus Christi that year (1972) but did not see the exhibit.

The building was designed by modern architect Philip Johnson and was built at the entrance to the Port of Corpus Christi.  At the time it was a stark contrast from the modest neighborhoods that were nearby.

The museum’s website describes it perfectly.  “Constructed entirely out of white shellcrete and plaster, it seems to radiate with the strong South Texas heat and light. This was the purpose, as stated by Philip Johnson: ‘Light is the essence, and light coming in from all sides is especially bathing and soothing.’ The floor-to-ceiling windows offer a spectacular view of Corpus Christi Bay as well as the Harbor Bridge.”

The Art Museum of South Texas in 1972

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Today we have Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, Harbor Playhouse, Museum of Asian Culture, Whataburger FieldAmerican Bank Center , Solomon P. Ortiz International Center, and Hurricane Alley all nestled and thriving in the shadow the Harbor Bridge.

The museum as it is today.

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The original on the right is the one Philip Johnson designed.  In 2006 the space was doubled with an addition designed by Mexican architects Ricardo Legorreta and his son Victor Legorreta and features 13 distinctive pyramids.  Ricardo Legorreta died in 2011 at age 80.

A current exhibit is “Warhol:  Myths and Legends, from the Cochran Collection” and will be on display until July 19.  The museum brochure describes it this way.  “Wesley and Missy Cochran of LaGrange, Georgia, share their collection of 36 of Warhol’s signature silkscreens.  The silkscreens were created starting in 1974 to just months before Warhol’s death in 1987 and include complete sets of his Cowboys and Indians and Myths series as well as celebrity images.”

The poured white concrete and shell aggregate walls of the museum were the perfect background for these iconic pops of color images of John F. Kennedy, John Wayne,  Mickey Mouse, Santa Clause, Sitting Bull, Warhol himself and others.  My favorites were those sprinkled partially with diamond dust.

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In a small alcove off the main exhibit were black and white photos of the construction and opening of the museum that also featured works of Jasper Johns and Frank Stella. Installed was a video interview of Warhol with a camera around his neck; he often kept a camera with him.  He would have undoubtedly embraced cell phones and the other devices we have today to capture each other as we all have our “fifteen minutes of fame.”

Reflected selfie of Crone, Husband and Son outside the museum.

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30 thoughts on “Andy Warhol: Back on the Bay with Myths and Legends

    • I am glad you liked it! It is a bit stark but it seems to fit somehow. Really it is smaller than it looks and seems intimate with lovely views of ships coming in. And I always enjoy reading about exhibits even though I know I will not be able to attend. Thanks for stopping by from your coast!

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  1. Wow, and amazing building in its day, and a wonderful new addition to add to its space age look.. It must be a fascinating Museum to visit… Many thanks for sharing.. Have a great weekend … 🙂 Sue

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    • For a city of our size it is amazing that it was built in 1972 and has continued to grow. The museum is smaller than it looks and is very intimate with a small restaurant where you can watch the ships come in or maybe spot a dolphin. It is always a pleasure to hear from you, Sue, from your side of the world.

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    • I think it is rather unexpected for the area and culture. Hasn’t the weather been crazy? One is afraid to travel anywhere. Last year the drought and this year floods. It is like the oil business – boom or bust. I hope you make it to CC soon! Thanks for taking time to comment – always appreciated!

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  2. Well, Jo Nell, you are the artist yourself………your post is pure artistry! With the reflective selfie at the end……a stunning work! I have been waiting your post about this exhibit. What delights! I love the pieces you have chosen to highlight……….especially of my friend the Wicked Witch of the West! Oh how i miss her. She used to live at the bottom of the hill, but has left……..most likely due to the daily harressment by the flying monkeys……dispatched by me, of course! hahahahahhahahah

    I love the addition to the museum and have not seen that before! It so reminds me of Giza! The palm trees in the front and the pyramids or of a Mayan city and seeing who the architects were, I think I shall go with Mayan city.

    Thank you so much for sharing this, I learned a lot and found it do delightful. By the by, I used to be at the Harbor Playhouse often in years gone by. Twenty years of Community Theatre directing and was resident technical director at a theatre for many years……….oh of days gone by…….

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  3. Oh, your compliments on my “artistry” an honor coming from you. I was rather pleased at how the post turned out. WordPress makes it easy to be creative! I don’t take a lot of photographs for my posts so I have to be a little creative. The Witch was one of my favorites also. Continue to keep her at the bottom of the hill!

    The Mayan city is appropriate, I think, for our Mexican culture and connections. It must have been a challenge to come up with the addition, but the museum is still an intimate experience. One can have a light lunch at the restaurant, Hester’s, and watch the ships come into port and perhaps spot a dolphin.

    Your talents are many! I can see you directing! How wonderful! Husband, Daughter and I have Sunday matinee tickets to see “La Cage Aux Follies” at the Harbor Playhouse. We are fortunate to have it here and enjoy attending productions there and at TAMU-CC. Son is going to NYC this weekend and has two plays and two museums on his short visit. At least he will post photos on Facebook! Take care and stay safe. I am sure you will need extra oil with all of this rain!

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    • Oh you have made me laugh with the oil for my rusty joints……..they certainly feel that way about now!! Oh, now you must tell me all of La Cage Aux Follies!!!! Would that I could join you………I do believe you would enjoy my interaction with the cast, as I know all the lines of the show! And off to NYC, you son! We have only done that one time and so very enjoyed it. Oh I can’t wait to hear about the show!!!

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  4. Never knew about this museum, but I don’t know that much about Texas, and love learning more. My favorite photo here, I must admit, is “Reflected Selfie of Crone, Husband and Son.” 🙂

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    • Oh, you should come down and check it out and have lunch in the museum at Hester’s. They even serve wine and beer. Stay safe weather-wise in your area! Thanks for the blog visit to the AMST anyway!

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  5. What an interesting looking building. The addition reminds me of the pyramids in Egypt. Glad I found your blog. What would we do without art?

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