Jul 27 2011

Eric C. Shiner Appointed Director of The Warhol

by Kathy Zhang

On July 8, The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh named Eric C. Shiner as their new director.  

Shiner, who had joined the museum in 2008 as the Milton Fine Curator of Art, has been serving as the acting director since January this year when Thomas Sokolowski stepped down as director after his 14-year tenure. “Eric Shiner will bring a truly international vision to The Warhol,” the former director commented welcoming the official announcement. Sokolowski pointed to Shiner’s ability to see beyond the popular trends while selecting artists for the museum. “I know that Andy would have loved him," Sokolowski concluded his paean to Shiner. 

Shiner studied Medieval Japanese Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh’s Honors College. A visit to Japan during a Semester at Sea program in the spring of 1992, inspired him to return to Japan in 1994 to attend graduate school at Osaka University, immersing himself in the History of Art as well as in Osaka’s nightlife and fashion scene. He also served as assistant curator at the Yokohama Triennale 2001, but returned to the US in 2002 to enroll in Yale’s PhD program in the History of Art focusing on Japanese contemporary art. Beckoned by entreaties from New York to curate shows and write articles for exhibitions, Shiner dropped out early leaving with an additional master’s degree to work as an independent curator in New York mounting shows like “Making a Home: Japanese Contemporary Artists” (2007) at Japan Society and “Snake Alley” (2008) at the Taipei Cultural Center. During his time in New York, Shiner was the managing editor of ArtAsiaPacific (AAP) and served as an adjunct professor of East Asian Contemporary Art at Stony Brook, Pace and Cooper Union, before becoming The Andy Warhol Museum’s curator where he organized the large-scale exhibition, “The End: Analyzing Art in Troubled Times” (2009). He remains a contributing editor for AAP

Enthusiastic in his new role as director of The Warhol, Shiner says he is keen to bring the museum to the world through more traveling exhibits and social media. Shiner told AAP, "As director of The Andy Warhol Museum, I look very forward to strengthening the legacy of Warhol and examining his vast influence on contemporary artists the world over.” 

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