Mattress Factory

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Mattress Factory
Mattress Factory Museum.jpg
The Mattress Factory
Mattress Factory is located in Pittsburgh
Mattress Factory
Location of the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh
LocationPittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Coordinates40°27′26″N 80°00′44″W / 40.45714770000001°N 80.01218699999998°W / 40.45714770000001; -80.01218699999998
Visitors28,000 (2018)[1]
FounderBarbara Luderowski
DirectorHayley A. Haldeman

The Mattress Factory is a contemporary art museum located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was a pioneer of site-specific installation art and features permanent installations by artists Yayoi Kusama[2], James Turrell[3], and Greer Lankton[4]. The museum's roof itself is a light art installation and part of Pittsburgh's Northside evening skyline.[5][6]

Barbara Luderowski purchased a derelict Stearns & Foster mattress warehouse in 1975. The museum achieved non-profit status in 1977.[7] Over the next forty years, Luderowski would attract upcoming installation artists to fill its walls. The Mattress Factory along with its neighbors City of Asylum and Randyland are credited with playing a role in Pittsburgh's revitalization.[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. Its first exhibition of installation art opened five years later on May 8, 1982, 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:

  • 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

Sexual Misconduct Allegations[edit]

In September 2018, a report published in Pittsburgh's WESA detailed five employees' allegations of sexual misconduct [9] and the Mattress Factory and its Director, Michael Olijnyk's mishandling of the situation. The complaint was filed with the National Labor Relations Board, and in early January 2019, a settlement was reached and the investigation was closed.[10]

Permanent exhibitions[edit]

As of 2017, the Mattress Factory hosts 17 continuous, permanent installations. The following is a short list of artists who have permanent displays at the Mattress Factory:

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 Ann 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
610-3365 Sarah Oppenheimer 2008



  1. ^ O'Driscoll, Bill (May 31, 2018). "Visionary Mattress Factory Founder Barbara Luderowski Dies At 88". WESA. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  2. ^ Carey, Meredith (July 27, 2018). "Where to See Yayoi Kusama's Art Across the U.S." Conde Naste Traveler. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  3. ^ Girdish, Jen (September 10, 2013). "Cool Colors". The Morning News. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  4. ^ Mondello, Bob (July 21, 2015). "Find Unforgettable Art In A Most Unlikely Place: A Pittsburgh Mattress Factory". NPR. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  5. ^ Henry, Maya (July 25, 2016). "New Mattress Factory sculpture "Acupuncture" pierces the Pittsburgh skyline with light". NEXTPittsburgh. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  6. ^ Wasserman, Nadine (August 10, 2016). "A New Public Artwork Lights Up the North Side". Pittsburgh City Paper. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  7. ^ Sewald, Jeff. "Barbara Luderowski: A life's recounting in the subject's own word". Pittsburgh Quarterly. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  8. ^ Peterson, Lucas (April 12, 2017). "Built on Steel, Pittsburgh Now Thrives on Culture". New York Times. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  9. ^ O'Driscoll, Bill (September 25, 2018). "Mattress Factory Staff Say Museum Downplayed Sexual Assault Allegations, Retaliated Against Critics". WESA. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  10. ^ Greenberger, Alex (January 3, 2019). "National Labor Relations Board Closes Investigation of Mattress Factory After Claims of Sexual Misconduct". ArtNews. Retrieved January 3, 2019.

External links[edit]