Rare Andy Warhol Photos Obtained By UH Art Collection

Warhol Foundation donates artist’s polaroid shots of celebs to university; exhibition at Blaffer Gallery in September

Andy Warhol’s art colorfully captured New York’s bohemian scene and Hollywood’s iconic stars. Soon, a collection of Warhol photographs depicting personalities of Tinsel Town and the Big Apple will have a home in the Bayou City thanks to a recent gift to the University of Houston Art Collection.

An extensive selection of photos featuring celebrities, socialites and scenes from the artist’s private life was donated to UH by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. These images will be on view at UH and available for research and study by students and scholars. Houstonians can view more than 50 of them during the exhibition “Celebutants, Groupies and Friends: A Photographic Legacy from the Andy Warhol Foundation” Sept. 13 – Oct. 18 in Blaffer Gallery, the Art Museum of UH.

Among the famous faces captured by Warhol’s camera are Jamie Lee Curtis, late Studio 54 owner Steve Rubell, 80s rock icon Billy Squier, Princess Caroline and singer/actress Pia Zadora.

“The photos are most valuable because they are a rarely seen glimpse into Warhol’s working process, especially for his famous portraits,” said Michael Guidry, curator of the UH University Art Collections. “Warhol would take many, many Polaroids of his clients, posing them, putting high contrast make-up on them. Some are very flattering and some not so flattering. Most of the Polaroids were studies for paintings and the black and white photos are a mix of travel and party pictures of his friends and social network.”

The Warhol Foundation’s gift to UH was made as part of the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program in honor of the foundation’s 20th anniversary. As one of the participating institutions in this program, UH received approximately 150 photographs selected by Jenny Moore, curator of the Photographic Legacy Program.

“A wealth of information about Warhol’s process and his interactions with his sitters is revealed in these images,” Moore said. “Through his rigorous – though almost unconscious – consistency in shooting, the true idiosyncrasies of his subjects were revealed.”

To learn more about “Celebutants, Groupies and Friends” and to view samples of Warhol’s photos, visit www.class.uh.edu/blaffer/exhibit_warhol_photographs.html.

The UH Art Collection includes an assortment of public works on display throughout the campus. Works include murals, paintings, sculptures, photographs, prints and tapestries. Public tours of these works are presented by Blaffer Gallery and can be arranged by calling 713-743-9971. A list of works can be viewed at www.advancement.uh.edu/arttour.

Established in 1987, the Andy Warhol Foundation's objective is to foster innovative artistic expression and the creative process by encouraging and supporting cultural organizations that in turn, directly or indirectly, support artists and their work. More details about the foundation can be found at www.warholfoundation.org.

About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.