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Mattress Factory

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 historic Mexican War Streets of Pittsburgh’s Central Northside since 1977, the Mattress Factory is one of few museums of its kind anywhere and is host to 75,000 visitors per year.[1]


  • History 1
  • Mission statement 2
  • Permanent exhibitions 3
  • Technology 4
  • Education 5
  • Gallery 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


In 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.[2] Its first exhibition of installation art opened five years later on May 8, 1982,[1] 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:[1]

  • 1414 Monterey Street, which became a new gallery space
  • Two buildings on North Taylor Street that became artist residences
  • 505 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, 1993
  • 516 Sampsonia Way, which opened as gallery space in Fall 2013

Mission statement

The Mattress Factory is a

  • The Mattress Factory Art Museum (MF), official website
  • MF blog
  • MF iConfess
  • MF on Twitter
  • MF on Facebook
  • MF on Flickr
  • MF Channel on YouTube.

External links

11. ^ King Elaine A. "The Mattress Factory at 20: The Jewel In Pittsburgh's Art Crown." Sculpture Magazine, December 1997 Vol.16 No.10

  1. ^ a b c d "Facts". Mattress Factory. Retrieved June 13, 2012.  Updated July 2013.
  2. ^ Ludowski, Barbara. "A Life's Recounting in the Subject's Own Words". Pittsburgh Quarterly. Retrieved June 13, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Mission Statement". Mattress Factory. Retrieved December 2, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Permanent Exhibitions". Mattress Factory. 2012. Retrieved June 13, 2012. 
  5. ^ Smit, Debra. "Mattress Factory's groundbreaking foray into social media".  
  6. ^ "Museum Uses Technology + New Media to Connect with Visitors". Retrieved 28 February 2011. 
  7. ^ Inscho, Jeffrey. "QR Codes: A Visitor's Resource Guide". The Mattress Factory. Retrieved 28 February 2011. 
  8. ^ "Education". The Mattress Factory. 2012. Retrieved June 13, 2012. 



In conjunction with its gallery exhibitions, the Mattress Factory operates educational programming throughout the year for both youth and adults. Programs include community workshops, artist talks, youth summer camp, and art-based educational partnerships with local schools.[8]


The Mattress Factory was a pioneer among museums venturing into the world of social media.[5] Platforms include a blog, MF iConfess, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Foursquare, and the Mattress Factory Channel on YouTube. In 2008 the museum was the first in the U.S. to offer paperless membership, and in April 2009, the Mattress Factory became the first museum in the United States to use QR codes as a visitor engagement tool.[6] In an attempt to reduce the quantity of printed materials it produces, the Mattress Factory uses QR codes throughout the museum to provide supplementary information to visitors.[7]


Name Artist Year
Trespass William Anastasi 1981
January 13, 1989, 10 minutes, 6B William Anastasi 1989
April 15, 1989, 32 minutes, 4B William Anastasi 1989
A Collaboration Chicago Collaboration 1993
Untitled installation Jene Highstein 1986
Ash Rolf Julius 1991
Red Rolf Julius 1996
Music for a Garden Rolf Julius 1996
Infinity Dots Mirrored Room Yayoi Kusama 1996
Repetitive Vision Yayoi Kusama 1996
It's all about ME, Not You Greer Lankton 1996
Garden Installation Winifred Lutz 1993
Unbrella Vanessa Sica + Chris Kasabach 2009
Catso, Red (1967) James Turrell 1994
Pleiades James Turrell 1983
Danaë James Turrell 1983
Bed Sitting Rooms for an Artist in Residence Allen Wexler 1988
Ship of Fools, Discovery of Time Bill Woodrow 1986

The Mattress Factory hosts 17 continuous, permanent installations.[1] The following is a short list of artists who have permanent displays at the Mattress Factory:[4]

Permanent exhibitions


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