Texas Tech University

Andy Warhol

Debbie Henry, 1980

Following his death in 1987, Andy Warhol (born 1928) left a huge amount of artworks in his studio and home, many of which were sold to establish the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The mission of the Andy Warhol Foundation has been to advance visual arts that are innovative, challenging and experimental.

Even after sales, thousands of artworks still remained in the Foundation's collections. On the 20th anniversary of the Warhol Foundation, these artworks were gifted to various American museums. The Museum of Texas Tech received an initial gift in 2007-08 of 160 Polaroid and black and white photographs, followed in 2013 by a donation of seven screen prints. Selections from these two gifts are on exhibit here.

Image right: Debbie Harry, 1980 Polaroid, PolaColor Type 108
Gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

$1, 1982Warhol was a key figure in the development of Pop Art, experimental film and music, design, fashion, and much more from the late 1950s through the 1980s. His influence, especially in design and art continues, as does his status as a cultural icon. [Pop Art is an art style that began in New York in the late 1950s. Pop artists, like Andy Warhol, tended to use images from popular culture, including comic books, advertisements, magazines, and product packaging.]

Warhol was gay and "out of the closet" in a time when living openly as such was not widely received. His infamous observation that everyone will be "world-famous for l5 minutes" continues today as an expectation that finds promise in social media, a circumstance unforeseen by the artist.

Image right: $1, 1982 Screen print Gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

Unidentified Man, circa 1970-80

Warhol was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He attended Carnegie Institute of Technology and after graduation pursued work as an illustrator. In the late 1950s several New York galleries began to exhibit his artwork and he garnered a reputation in arts' communities as a controversial figure. His studio, known as The Factory, was a focal point of celebrities, musicians, other artists, actors, critics, drag queens, wealthy supporters, authors...just about anyone seeking alternative lifestyles, glamour, fun, and fame.

This exhibition presents a major proportion of works of art by Andy Warhol that are in the collection of the Museum of Texas Tech University. All of these artworks were donated by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Image right: Unidentified Man, circa 1970-80 Silver gelatin print Gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts