de Saisset Museum

South Bay's free museum of art and history

Andy Warhol: Polaroids and Portraits

April 13 - July 1, 2012

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"I think anybody can take a good picture. My idea of a good picture is one that's in focus and of a famous person doing something unfamous. It's being in the right place at the wrong time."

                                                                                                      — Andy Warhol


Among the most influential artists of the 20th century, Andy Warhol is perhaps best known as a painter and filmmaker. The role photography played in his art making is often overlooked or undervalued. Yet, during the latter years of his life Warhol regularly traveled with a camera in hand, poised to capture candid moments in the studio, at social events, and everywhere in between. Some of the images he shot were created as studies for larger silk screen prints or painted portraits; others were snapped on a whim, capturing unguarded—and often unglamorous—moments in the lives of his friends and acquaintances.

In 2008, the de Saisset Museum received a substantial gift of 157 photographs from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts through the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program. In celebration of the Foundation's 20th anniversary, the Photographic Legacy Project donated more than 28,500 photographs by Warhol to educational institutions throughout the United States. More than 180 college and university art institutions received these works in an effort to broaden access to Warhol's work.

This exhibition marks the first time that the de Saisset Museum has showcased a significant portion of the works gifted through the Photographic Legacy Program. The images on display offer an intimate glimpse into Warhol's world, inviting viewers to join the parties, laughter, and creative moments of his final years.


Images: Andy Warhol, Albert and Pearl Nipon, 1976, 3-1/3 x 4-1/4 in., de Saisset Museum permanent collection, Gift of Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts 20th Anniversary Photographic Legacy Program, 2008.4.90. Andy Warhol, Caroline, Princess of Monaco, n.d., 3-1/3 x 4-1/4 in., de Saisset Museum permanent collection, Gift of Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts 20th Anniversary Photographic Legacy Program, 2008.4.10.
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