In the Event of Andy Warhol

Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University
May 31 – September 15, 2012

The Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University was pleased to announce a significant gift of works from the Andy Warhol Foundation’s Photographic Legacy Program. The Program was launched in 2007 in celebration of the Foundation’s 20th anniversary and has donated over 28,500 photographs by Andy Warhol to educational institutions across the United States. More than 180 college and university museums, galleries, and art collections throughout the nation participated in the program, each receiving a curated selection of photographs and prints. The gift received by the Wilson Museum includes many of Warhol’s original Polaroids as well as silver gelatin prints documenting his life and its inhabitants. The photographs encompass a wide array of subject matter from portraits to party scenes to still lifes.

Both famous and infamous for his work interweaving the worlds of fine art, pop culture, and consumerism, Warhol’s photographic legacy exposes the fetishism of fame and the bourgeois aspirations of pop culture. Eleanor D. Wilson Museum Director Amy Moorefield writes, “We are incredibly honored to receive this generous gift of work from the Andy Warhol Foundation. Warhol turned the camera’s lens on all the nuances of his life. His work influenced generations of younger artists.” Warhol’s focus on the cult of personality and his emphasis on the labels that are associated with this illuminate the burgeoning genericism of American culture. “I decided I just wasn’t going to care,” Warhol wrote in his book Popism: the Warhol Sixties (1960-1963), about being pressured to fit a mold, “because those were all things that I didn’t want to change, anyway, that I didn’t think I should want to change…Other people could change their attitudes, but not me.”

Selections from the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum’s gift from the Andy Warhol Foundation will be highlighted with selections from two other university galleries in a three-part exhibition titled In the Event of Andy Warhol. Washington & Lee University’s Staniar Gallery, Roanoke College Olin Hall Galleries and the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University, all have been recipients of gifts from the Warhol Photographic Legacy Program. In the Event of Andy Warhol pairs Warhol’s photographs with contemporary artists that reference or have been inspired by Warhol in their work. The exhibition will debut at Washington and Lee’s Staniar Gallery from Jan. 9 – Feb. 4, 2012 and then travel to Roanoke College’s Olin Hall Galleries from March 1-April 1, 2012. In the Event of Andy Warhol’s exhibition at the Wilson Museum is the culmination of this collaboration. It will open on May 31 and remain on view until September 15, 2012. The Wilson Museum’s edition will focus on artistic contemporaries and inspirations of Andy Warhol, as well as Warhol’s original works. The exhibition will showcase works by Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jasper Johns, among others. Stressing Warhol’s Catholic background and the influence of his early graphic work and films, this final part of the exhibition will shed new light on his photographic inspiration. Co-curated by Amy Moorefield, Museum Director and James W. Hyams.

Photo of Maria Shriver
Andy Warhol, Maria Shriver, 1986. Polacolor ER. Gift of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Courtesy of the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University. (c) The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

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