Pomona College Museum of Art Exhibition Features Selection of Photographs Donated by the Andy Warhol Foundation
“Famous For 15: From Andy Warhol to Your Camera-Phone will be on view from January 23 – April 11, 2010, at the Pomona College Museum of Art in Claremont. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, January 23 from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Curator’s talk, with Curator and Kilsby Museum Intern Carrie Dedon '10 will be held on Wednesday February 3, 2010, at 4:15 in Lyman Hall, Thatcher Music Building.
In the future everyone will be world-famous for fifteen minutes.
“Famous for 15” examines the phenomenon of photo-based fame through Andy Warhol’s practice and its modern parallel of camera-phone photographs. Warhol’s obsession with going out every night—he called it a social disease—was marked by an equally urgent drive to photograph the celebrities and near celebrities that made up New York’s social scene. His practice is echoed in our modern use of the camera-phone. The ubiquitous camera-phone offers instant portraits, instant results, and, with the ability to share images via text messages and social networking sites, instant publicity and fame. Technology has made everyone’s allotted fifteen minutes seem more within reach than ever before. And perhaps, as Warhol suggested, made the category of celebrity even more unstable.
Included in the exhibition is a selection of Polaroids and black and white prints by Andy Warhol from the 159 photographs given to the Pomona College Museum of Art in 2008 by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts through the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program. In addition to the Warhol photographs, contemporary camera-phone photos will be projected in the gallery as part of the exhibition. View submitted camera-phone photos online at http://picasaweb.google.com/FamousFor15. To participate, submit photos to FamousFor15.CameraPhone@picasaweb.com.
The work of Andy Warhol, one of the most influential and celebrated artists of the 20th century, engaged with issues of the commercial, blurring the line between consumer goods and high art. Fascinated by the concept of celebrity, he explored the framework and conditions of fame in both his work and personal life. His portrait photographs enact his most quoted statement about fame. The mere fact of posing for Warhol made his subjects instant celebrities. Yet Warhol undercut the trappings of celebrity photo-shoots by using common amateur cameras like the Polaroid Big Shot or the auto-focus Minox. Although the resulting photographs provided the subjects with a measure of fame, Warhol seemed to question the value of fame by highlighting its wide accessibility.
The exhibition is curated by Pomona College Museum Intern Carrie Dedon '10. Dedon will give a curator’s talk on Wednesday February 3, 2010 at 4:15 in Lyman Hall, Thatcher Music Building. A reception at the Museum will follow. Ms. Dedon is the first recipient of the recently endowed Kilsby Museum Internship. A generous gift establishing the Graham “Bud” ’55 and Mary Ellen ’56 Kilsby Endowment Fund for Student Interns at the Pomona College Museum of Art supports Museum internships for Pomona College students interested in the arts.
Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program
In 2008, the Pomona College Museum of Art received a gift of 159 Andy Warhol photographs, with an estimated value of $139,750, from The Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program. Portraits comprise the majority of the donated photographs, which were taken between 1971 and 1986. The Pomona College set includes portraits of Debbie Harry, Moon Unit and Dweezil Zappa, California politician Jerry Brown, artist John Chamberlain, sports stars Wayne Gretsky and Vitas Gerulaitis, and a host of others, both famous and unknown. The gift from the Warhol Foundation became part of Pomona College Museum’s growing photography collection, which numbers over 1,000 prints with an emphasis on twentieth-century American photography. In 2008, the Andy Warhol Photography Legacy Program awarded a total of 28,543 original photographs, valued in excess of $28 million, to 183 college and university museums across the U.S.
Pomona College Museum of Art
The Pomona College Museum of Art is located at 330 N. College Avenue, Claremont. The Museum is open to the public free of charge Tuesday through Friday, from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, call (909) 621-8283, Jessica Wimbley, or visit www.pomona.edu/museum.
The Pomona College Museum of Art houses a substantial permanent collection as well as serving as a gallery for the display of temporary exhibitions. Important holdings include the Kress Collection of 15th- and 16th-century Italian panel paintings; more than 5,000 examples of Pre-Columbian to 20th-century American Indian art and artifacts, including basketry, ceramics, and beadwork; and a large collection of American and European prints, drawings, and photographs, including works by Francisco de Goya, José Clemente Orozco, and Rico Lebrun.