When you think about it, department stores are kind of like museums.
—Andy Warhol

One’s first impression of the Andy Warhol Museum is of a smart new specialty store—not exactly a department store, to be sure, but something on the scale of the old Henri Bendel’s on West Fifty-seventh Street in Manhattan or the new Barneys on Madison Avenue, only in this case distinctly downmarket and featuring but one line of goods: the artist’s reputation. In this respect, it also resembles some of the new-style emporiums that have lately opened around Fifth Avenue and Fifty-seventh Street in New York: the Warner Bros. and Coca-Cola shops that do a brisk business in brand-name nostalgia kitsch. It is indeed as if Warhol’s comparison of art museums and department stores had been adopted, with appropriate modifications, as the guiding principle in planning this monument to his name and fame.


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