The Carpatho-Rusyns are an East Slavic people whose homeland lies in a crescent-shaped swath of the Carpathian Mountains in what is now Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia. They have their own distinct language and culture, with a strong connection to their Eastern Christian faith. Between the 1880s and 1914 about 225,000 Carpatho-Rusyns immigrated to the United States; many more came after WWII. Pittsburgh has the nation’s highest concentration of Carpatho-Rusyns, with a total regional population of 60,000. There are about 2 million Carpatho-Rusyns in the world today.
Andy Warhol, who grew up in Four Mile Run, a Pittsburgh neighborhood at the foot of Oakland that remains heavily populated by Rusyns, is the group’s most famous son.
The Warhola family’s Carpatho-Rusyn heritage figures prominently in The Andy Warhol Museum. Its relationship with the Carpatho-Rusyn community has always been strong; we have worked with Carpatho-Rusyn Society since 1998. John Righetti and Maria Silvestri, two leaders of the Carpatho-Rusyn community, have been key in the gathering of objects and their stories. Basil Wahal, Director of Communications at the Greek Catholic Union in Beaver, Pennsylvania, also assisted us in gathering various items and supplied important stories and information relating to historical Carpatho-Rusyn organizations in Western Pennsylvania.