Art you can get into.

SUN

11 AM-5 PM

MON

Closed

TUE

Closed

WED

11 AM-8 PM

THU

11 AM-5 PM

FRI

11 AM-5 PM

SAT

11 AM-5 PM

The Mattress Factory has pioneered the development of alternative art forms through site-specific installations, video, and performance art. It is nationally and internationally recognized as a leader in site-specific, contemporary art and is notorious for pushing the boundaries of both artist and viewer. The unparalleled support that artists receive from the Mattress Factory, while working in residence, often results in the production of extraordinary artwork that propels the artist’s career and significantly impacts the field of contemporary art. Mattress Factory exhibitions present new works by critically-acclaimed regional, national and international artists and the museum's exhibitions appear in publications like The New York Times, Art in America, Art Asian/Pacific, and the Wall Street Journal, among many others.

The Mattress Factory was founded in 1977, by artists, to support artists working in residence to create site-specific installations. Since then, the museum has presented and commissioned new installation and performance works by more than 750 artists. The museum supports established and emerging artists through a residency program that provides leadership, guidance, resources and opportunities to create artwork that is unconventional, challenging and thought-provoking. The museum’s flexibility and inventiveness allows artists to respond to developments in technology, explore audience interaction, and challenge traditional artistic ideals and practice.

"Pushing the boundaries of both artist & viewer."

History

History

1975

Barbara Luderowski acquires 500 Sampsonia Way, a Stearns & Foster mattress warehouse built in 1900.

1977

The Mattress Factory is incorporated as a non-profit educational and cultural organization.

1978

Artist Michael Olijnyk begins working at the Mattress Factory. He became Curator of Exhibitions in 1982 and would be named Co-Director in 2008.

1982

The museum focuses on providing support for artists to create site-specific installations. The first exhibition of installations opens on May 8, 1982 with new work by Athena Tacha, Michael Olijnyk and Diane Samuels.

1983

James Turrell works in residence to create new light installations, Danaë and Pleiades, which ultimately become the first works in the permanent collection.

1986

The Mattress Factory purchases three buildings: one at 1414 Monterey Street that becomes a gallery space and two on North Taylor Avenue that become the artists’ residence.

1990

The Mattress Factory purchases two empty lots adjacent to the main building for use as a parking lot for museum visitors and a garden designed by artist Winifred Lutz.

1991

Noted artists John Cage, Ann Hamilton, Tatsuo Miyajima and Christian Boltanski create new installations in collaboration with the 51st Carnegie International.

1994

The Mattress Factory is the first American museum to exhibit work by the British artist Damien Hirst.

1995

Artists of Central and Eastern Europe presents new installations by 10 artists. It was the first of many exhibitions featuring work by artists from areas of the world then undergoing change.

1997

The Mattress Factory celebrates its 20th anniversary with the dedication of Winifred Lutz’s Garden and the first Urban Garden Party, which becomes the museum’s signature annual fundraiser.

1999

Ten artists from China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Thailand work in residence to create new work for Ten Asian Artists in Residence.

2000

Rolf Julius curates Visual Sound, with work by artists from the U.S., Japan, Germany, France and Canada who use sound in their installations.

2001

The museum establishes an Education Department, staffed by an Education Director and Program Coordinator

2003

Two row houses on Jacksonia Street are creatively adapted as a new wing for offices and an education studio. A row house on Sampsonia Way was also acquired, becoming the museum’s Sampsonia Annex.

2004

The Mattress Factory presents a groundbreaking exhibition of new work by 10 Cuban artists, despite the denial of the artists’ entry into the U.S.

2007

The museum presents New Installations: India, a two-part exhibition featuring work by eight artists.

2009

The estate of Greer Lankton bequests It’s all about ME, Not You to the Mattress Factory, and it is permanently installed.

2010

The exhibition Queloides: Race and Racism in Cuban Contemporary Art is presented in collaboration with University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Latin American Studies.

2014

The parents of artist Greer Lankton gift the Mattress Factory a collection of more than 14,000 items from Lankton’s life that comprise the largest concentration of the artist’s work and related material anywhere.  

2016

The museum installs Acupuncture, a light sculpture by German artists Hans Peter Kuhn on the roof of the museum’s Main Building.

2017

The Mattress Factory celebrates its 40th anniversary with New Installations: 40th Year, an exhibition showcasing new pieces by artists who have contributed to the museum’s pioneering history.

2018

On May 30, 2018, Mattress Factory Founder Barbara Luderowski passed away.

2019

The Mattress Factory exhibits The Other Apartment, a collaborative project between Pittsburgh-based artist Jon Rubin and Tehran-based artist Sohrab Kashani that occurs in two sites simultaneously.

Never-before-seen work, built on site.

Our artists literally live & breathe their creations during their residency.

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MEET OUR ARTISTS

In the community

Since its founding, the Mattress Factory has been a catalyst for community revitalization on Pittsburgh’s North Side. The museum has rehabilitated nine properties that were once abandoned or considered non-contributing buildings within the community.

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COMMUNITY PROGRAMS