a nonprofit devoted to interdisciplinary arts and humanities public education


The Pop Factory


Warhol in Context

The Pop Factory will be a panoramic investigation of how the work of artists associated with British and American pop art have been imagined, produced, marketed, exhibited, seen (and not seen), written about (and sometimes ignored), argued over, sold, and collected throughout the world. The seminar series will focus much of its attention on the time between 1959-60 when Claes Oldenburg, Jim Dine, and Tom Wesselmann had their first shows in the Judson Gallery and the end of the Nixon administration in late 1974. However, The Pop Factory will attempt to provide context for this historical moment through a substantial investigation of the sociohistorical, intellectual, and artistic period which proceeded it, in an attempt to make legible the dialogue between factions and generations of American artists, particularly those of the New York School. Meanwhile, our seminar series 1968 Now, which will run parallel to The Pop Factory, will provide a rich investigation of the historical background of the immediate period during which the influence of pop art reached its zenith. 

While many histories of pop art imagine it as a "boys club," we will dedicate considerable attention to the work of a number of important women who both contributed to expanding and challenging what pop art could mean. We will examine the work of artists such as Rosalyn Drexler, Sturtevant, Marisol, Sister Mary Corita Kent, Evelyne Axell, Marjorie Strider, Dorothy Grebenak, Idelle Weber, Pauline Boty, and Kiki Kogelnick, giving us the opportunity to spend at least a third of our seminars reevaluating pop art from diverse female and feminist perspectives.  Another third of our seminars will be dedicated to examining Andy Warhol, and the rich world of cultural production which revolved around him and The Factory. We'll look at his work in all of its diverse manifestations—from art to film, books, music, social "happenings," and ephemera. In order to do justice to such a rich array of work, we plan to draw on the expertise of an unusual array of scholarly expertise from across disciplines as diverse as film studies, economics, law, history, philosophy, gender studies, printing and design, fashion, music, marketing, literature, and art history. 

Seminars will generally be split into three sections. During the first part of each seminar, guest speakers will offer a broad array of talks on major issues in pop art. Following this, our guests will answer questions and enter into dialogue with our seminar participants. The final part of each seminar will be dedicated to close (sometimes granular) readings of specific, seminal works of pop art. Seminars generally last for 2.5 hours, with a ten minute break between sections two and three.

We anticipate running The Pop Factory seminars beginning in 2022, with individual seminars running for about 11 weeks. Specific dates, times, and locations for these seminars will be added to this website in late 2021.