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"Possession Obsession: Objects from Andy Warhol's Personal Collection"
2002-03-02 until 2002-05-19
Andy Warhol Museum
The Andy Warhol Museum will present
Possession Obsession: Objects from Andy Warhol's Personal Collection - a rare opportunity to reunite approximately 300
objects from Warhol's personal collection (sold at the legendary 1988
Sotheby's auction) in order to examine one of the least-studied aspects of
his oeuvre: collecting. The exhibition will focus on areas where Warhol
maintained a deep, abiding interest, such as 19th-century American furniture
and folk art, cookie jars and other collectibles, Art Deco furniture and
objects, Native American art and artifacts and fine and costume jewelry.
Organized by The Andy Warhol Museum and curated by John W. Smith, archivist
for The Warhol, the exhibition will explore the role that collecting played
in the artist's life and the ways in which it influenced other aspects of
Warhol began to collect seriously in the mid-1950s and continued to do so
until his death in 1987. By the early 1970s, collecting had become an
obsession with Warhol and he devoted a part of nearly every day to making
the rounds of Manhattan flea markets, antique shops, jewelry stores and
auction houses. Although Warhol's collection of cookie jars and other
collectibles drew the greatest media attention, his collection also
contained important examples of Federal-era furniture, Art Deco furniture
and silver, 20th century painting and sculpture and more.
The 1988 Sotheby's auction of Warhol's collection received extensive media
coverage, but has since been given very little serious critical attention.
By presenting a focused, carefully selected group of objects from Warhol's
collection, this exhibition aims to demonstrate that for Warhol, collecting
was not merely a leisurely pursuit, but in fact represented a vital form of
artistic practice. Through collecting, Warhol found another forum to explore
his ideas about history, nostalgia, popular culture and consumerism, themes
that are central to other areas of his work.
Says exhibition curator, John Smith, One of the earliest objects we have in
the Warhol Museum collection is a scrapbook of autographed movie star
photographs that Warhol assembled when he was a child. This marks the
beginning of a passion that would stay with him throughout his life. By
re-examining what Warhol collected and how he assembled his collection, we
gain a deeper insight into his personality and his genius. We hope the
exhibition will convey not only the seriousness with which Warhol approached
collecting, but also the pleasure he found in searching out new and
undiscovered categories of objects to collect. In Warhol's words, 'he was
always looking for the five-dollar object that's really worth millions.'
Possession Obsession: Objects from Andy Warhol's Personal Collection will be
presented within approximately 5,000 square feet of exhibition space on the
7th floor of The Warhol. Additionally, the Museum's Weekend Factory (every
Saturday and Sunday 12-4 p.m.) will present hands-on art activities
connected with the exhibition. The Museum's 110-seat theater will be used
for lectures and other programming that will be planned in conjunction with