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Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh

(190+ reviews on the web)
Art Museum Museum
The Mattress Factory is a museum of contemporary art that presents art you can get into — room-sized environments, created by in-residence artists from around the world. Located in the Mexican War Streets of Pittsburgh’s Central Northside since 1977, the Mattress Factory is host to 75,000 visitors per year.HistoryIn 1975, artist and Mattress Factory founder Barbara Luderowski purchased a former Stearns & Foster mattress warehouse at 500 Sampsonia Way in Pittsburgh’s Central Northside. Originally, she used the warehouse as a space to live, work and build a community of artists and intellectuals. The community grew and in 1977--after two years of hosting art exhibits and a small food co-op--the Mattress Factory was established as a legal non-profit educational and cultural corporation. Its first exhibition of installation art opened five years later on May 8, 1982, and the museum has since grown to be an integral part of the Pittsburgh arts community, known for its artist residency program, educational programming, and unique exhibitions. In 2008 then-Curator of Exhibitions Michael Olijnyk joined Luderowski in leading the museum as Co-Director.Over the years the Mattress Factory has acquired more properties for various purposes, including: 1414 Monterey Street, which became a new gallery spaceTwo buildings on North Taylor Street that became artist residences505 Jacksonia Street, which is now used as a parking lot for museum visitors, and the adjacent lot, which now houses Winifred Lutz's Garden Installation, 1993516 Sampsonia Way, which opened as gallery space in Fall 2013
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Went with my 14 year old daughter, had a great time. It's a different set up than most, three buildings with changing installations, most of which stay for 6-12 months. I'm not the type of person to u...  more »
  • This space is a place for artists. If you are interested in exploring installation art, this place is your heaven. During my visit I sat with a James Turrell piece and danced in a Yayoi Kusama piece. ...  more »
  • I'm sorry but for the high dollar price of admission, it wasn't worth it. 3 different buildings. Not much in any of them. We got so tired in the 2nd building of all the very narrow stairs and uneven f...  more »
Google
  • Great if you are into art. Is compromised of 3 buildings all within a block of each other. No street crossing required. Nice staff. Cute coffee shop inside main building. Two gift shops.
  • Amazing exhibits. The experience is much better if you go during the week (not on a weekend/holiday).
  • Wonderful art installations on a funky exciting set of old buildings. There was new excitement around every turn.
  • My absolute fav artist has a permanent exhibit here. It's a unique magical place you will get lost in! Three different buildings, I'm a member for a reason as I fell in love with it
  • WOW! Let me preface this review by saying I really had no intention of ever coming here. I had thought maybe it was going to be "swoosh, right over my head", like some of what I had seen down at the Wood Street Gallery and the other installation, "boutique", or one-room, one-piece galleries downtown. They were very nice, unique, some quite memorable, others just out of my league. I drive about two hours one-way from WV to see the Broadway National Tours at the Benedum, the shows at the Byham and the Cabaret at Theater Square, the concerts and performances at Heinz Hall, and enjoy the Cultural District's many offerings, and with upwards of six hours to kill I had already visited just about every every museum, gallery, vista, and sightseeing attraction Pittsburgh has to offer in the preceding sixteen months (25+ trips) since I had been coming to Pittsburgh. With my time winding down here in the area, and with only one last opportunity remaining to see the Mattress Factory, I finally told myself "let's get this over with". Man, what the hell was I waiting on. This place was just simply amazing. And the staff were all so very friendly and helpful. The pictures I've seen simply cannot do it justice. Installation art of this size, this scale, well, it slaps you in the face, wraps around you, surrounds you, and it absorbs you into it like no other art form can. I really believe the key to enjoying this is catching it with as FEW people in the exhibits as possible. Be the only one in the room. I was the first person in the building on a Saturday morning, and for the most part the only one in each gallery or on every floor, every time, in two out of three buildings. I can't imagine trying to appreciate this when there are a dozen or more people all talking and flocking around each other all angling to see the exhibit. Go see this. I can't believe I waited this long. Or maybe it's a good thing I did.