Digital Treasure Trove: Andy Warhol’s Polaroids

Contributed by PAFA Museum Collections

One of the more interesting groups of works in PAFA’s collection that is being digitized for our current IMLS grant is a set of personal Polaroids taken by Andy Warhol. These were largely created during the 70’s and 80’s and whose subjects include what seem like friends, models, and Warhol himself, all in various poses and stages of attire and undress that, when seen together, read like something between art reference photos and contemporary social media posts. Returning figures include named entities like “Kimiko Powers,” “Mr. Black,” or “Ted Hartley,” among other unidentified individuals. Some feel candid, while others clearly posed and staged, but something about them all feel both intimate and enigmatic. Within PAFA’s larger permanent collection, with its historic slant and focus on traditional techniques and subjects, these entries are certainly unique.

Ted Hartley
Ted Hartley (1980) Andy Warhol, Polacolor Type 108, 3×3 in. (7.62 x 7.62 cm.), 2008.21.82, Gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., The Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program, © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
Kimiko Powers
Kimiko Powers (1971) Andy Warhol, Polacolor Type 108, 3×3 in. (7.62 x 7.62 cm.), 2008.21.35, Gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., The Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program, © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

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