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Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh

(3.9/5 based on 170+ reviews on the web)
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
  • Really big museum entirely devoted to contemporary installations. Located in the middle of houses, you will not expect such a wide place (3 buildings). Every room/artist is described so you can learn,...  more »
  • Great, but pricy museum in a great part of Pittsburgh! Very unique and interactive art. Definitely a must-see! 
  • Billed as the first modern art museum in the US it's still at the vanguard. The permanent exhibits augmented by visiting exhibitions are still at the vanguard of conceptual art. From the building-topp...  more »
Google
  • We went there on the Little Free Library day where you donate five books for admission. I wouldn't normally pay for admission as it is overpriced, but we really enjoyed the layout of the museum and most of the exhibits, although some of them weren't actually art in my opinion. Since several of the exhibits rotate it's worth checking online before going and keeping an eye out for discounted or free admission days.
  • I went to the main building on Tuesday morning they were renovating or installing a new exhibition I didn't see much in it. Then I moved to the next building and that exhibition was kind of creepy, it looks most likely to an horror show than contemporary art. But still fun to visit I had a good time.
  • Seems over priced. Full price despite only two of the three buildings were open. Waiting for the elevator took a long time, would be helpful if stairs were open. A few exhibits were interesting, but seemed to be lacking in overall quantity for the square footage of the place.
  • An ever changing immersive experience of contemporary art. Tucked in the residential streets of Pittsburgh's north side, the Mattress Factory is "a must" for cultural and art appreciation. Go visit!
  • The art here is so breathtaking! It's a great atteaction! As an artist myself, I found it rather eerie, but awe inspiring.