The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Joel Wachs, President (212) 387-7555; Jenny Moore, Photographic Legacy Program Curator (212) 242-2524
OCTOBER 16, 2007 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Announces 20th Anniversary Photographic Legacy Program

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts today announced an unprecedented gift of Warhol art to 183 college and university art museums across the U.S.  The gift, made through the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program in honor of the foundation’s 20th anniversary, consists of 28,543 original Warhol photographs valued in excess of $28 million.

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.

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.”  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.”

In the foundation’s twenty-year life span it has given away more than $200 million in cash grants and art donations. “As we look to the future,” declared 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.”