November 15, 2007

Photo credit: Andy Warhol, © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

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LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Samek Art Gallery at Bucknell University will receive nearly 150 original Andy Warhol photographs and prints by the end of January 2008 to be added to the University's permanent collection. ||  See Video.

The gift is part of the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program in honor of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts' 20th anniversary.

The Legacy Program is giving selected groups of photographs from a collection of 28,543 original Warhol photographs, valued in excess of $28 million, to 183 college and university museums across the United States.

"Bucknell is honored to be chosen for this program," said Dan Mills, director of the Samek Art Gallery. "The addition of these Warhol photographs will enhance the University's growing permanent collection."

Access to Warhol's work
According to Foundation President Joel Wachs, the aim of the Photographic Legacy Program is to provide greater access to Warhol's artwork and process, and to enable a wide range of people from communities across the country to view and study this important yet relatively unknown body of Warhol's work. 

The program offers institutions that do not have the means to acquire works by Warhol the opportunity to bring a significant number of photographs into their permanent collections, while allowing those institutions that do have Warhol in their collections to enrich the breadth and depth of their holdings.

"Recognized as the most influential pop artist (the media often call him the 'prince of pop'), Warhol also was a native Pennsylvanian," said Mills. "In addition to benefiting Bucknell's students, this substantial gift of Polaroids and black-and-white photographs has regional significance. Many images from this body of work are portraits and snapshots of people. It will be exciting to see just what work we receive and who may be represented in the photographs," he said.

"I've never met a person I couldn't call a beauty." Andy Warhol

Original Polaroids and prints
Each of the participating institutions will receive approximately 150 original Polaroid  photographs and gelatin silver prints 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," notes Moore.

"Through his rigorous – though almost unconscious – consistency in shooting, the true idiosyncrasies of his subjects were revealed. Often, he would shoot a person or event with both cameras, cropping one in Polaroid color as a "photograph" and snapping the other in black and white as a "picture."

"Isn't life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?" Andy Warhol

"By presenting both kinds of images side by side, the Photographic Legacy Program allows viewers to move back and forth between moments of Warhol's 'art,' 'work' and 'life'  – inseparable parts of a fascinating whole."

"Wow." Andy Warhol

In the foundation's 20-year life span it has given away more than $200 million in cash grants and art donations. "As we look to the future," said Wachs, "the Warhol Foundation will continue to be guided by the vision of its founder and benefactor, whose dying wish was to establish a foundation to advance the visual arts. We will devote our energy and resources to expanding support for artists and arts institutions throughout the country, and we hope that the foundation's accomplishments will inspire others to follow Andy's visionary lead."

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Contact: Office of Communications

Posted Nov. 15, 2007

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