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05 Mar 2015

Warhol by the Book at the Williams College Museum of Art

Andy Warhol, Andy Warhol's Index (Book), 1967 (pre-publication mock-up designer's copy). Williams College Museum of Art, Gift of Richard F. Holmes, Class of 1946. © 2015 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Warhol by the Book
Williams College Museum of Art


Opening Celebration: Mar 6, 2015, 6pm
Duration of the exhibition:
Mar 7–Aug 16, 2015 Hours:
Sept–May Open 10 am–5 pm, Closed Wednesdays
June–August Open every day 10 am¬–5pm, Thursdays 10 am–8 pm


+1 413 597 2429
+1 413 597 5000

Williams College Museum of Art
15 Lawrence Hall Dr Suite 2
Williamstown, MA 01267

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The first US exhibition to concentrate on Andy Warhol's book work, Warhol by the Book opens at the Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) March 7 and will be on view through August 16, 2015. Creating books was a vital part of Warhol's career. From his student days in the 1940s to his death in 1987, Warhol experimented wildly with form and content, turning traditional notions of media and authorship on their heads.

Nearly 500 objects covering more than 80 book titles including unique and unpublished materials come together from WCMA and The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. The exhibition showcases a range of material from Warhol's practice including paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, and artist's books. It also includes projections of sixteen Screen Test portrait-films of writers. Warhol had a lifelong fascination with the written word and with the book as an art form. Featuring drawings created to fulfill college assignments, to the Party Book, which was in development at the time of his death, Warhol by the Book traces the artist's ideas, influences, collaborations, and innovations throughout his career.

'Printed books were essential in Warhol's daily life and with almost every known example of his work for books represented, this exhibition demonstrates his prolific and diverse contribution to the field of publishing,' says Matt Wrbican, Chief Archivist, The Andy Warhol Museum and Curator of Warhol by the Book.

Featured in the exhibition are:

- Works related to Warhol's interest in Truman Capote, the subject of Warhol's first solo exhibition in 1952
- Illustrations in mass-market children's books, a language instruction book, a cook book, and an etiquette book
- Many unfinished works such as a unique maquette for a book made from his Marilyn Monroe prints which unfolds to a length of almost 30 feet
- Unique Red Books of Warhol's Polaroid photographs of his celebrity friends including Mick Jagger
- Never-before exhibited paste-up layouts for two books of photos: Andy Warhol's Exposures and America

Warhol by the Book
highlights WCMA's important holdings of nearly 300 Warhols, many of which were given by Richard F. Holmes Class of '46. Before Warhol became famous for his Pop art, he produced extensive commercial art as well as self-published works often made in collaboration with friends in the 1950s. The Holmes gift includes a near complete collection of these books produced in limited numbers: A is an Alphabet, Love is a Pink Cake, 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy, Holy Cats by Andy Warhol's Mother, In The Bottom of My Garden, A Gold Book, and Wild Raspberries.

Many of Warhol's projects focused on the book as an object. He blended the borders of art, design, and text. Andy Warhol's Index (Book) (1967), was the first of several books to defy the definition of a book. This seminal publication has been called a 'children's book for hipsters,' complete with sound recordings, balloons, fold-outs, holograms, and even a do-it-yourself nose job. Three preliminary mock-ups for this project are featured from WCMA's collection, showing how the book changed from inception to its final state. Further playing with form and content Warhol produced a novel from transcriptions of audiotapes, which is exhibited with the very cassette recorder used to make the recordings, and Stephen Shore's photos that document the sessions.

At WCMA, a gallery will recreate Warhol's personal library allowing visitors to page through some of his eclectic volumes. As part of the year-long, campus-wide Book Unbound initiative, Warhol by the Book expands the notion of Warhol's authorship and examines how he challenged the definition of what a book is.

'Books were objects of fascination for Warhol, both as an artist and a collector. In a pre-digital age, books represented legacy, luxury and lasting fame,' says Eric Shriner, Director of The Andy Warhol Museum. 'Warhol by the Book focuses on a little-known, but fascinating aspect of Warhol's work.'

'Warhol worked out many of his lifelong obsessions—with documentation, reproducibility, mass-produced visual culture, and authorship—through books,' says Christina Olsen, Class of '56 Director of the Williams College Museum of Art. 'For the college community this is an exciting opportunity to delve into some of the most important themes in art of the twentieth century.'

Warhol by the Book
debuts at WCMA and will travel to the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh where it will be on view from October 9, 2015-January 10, 2016.

Warhol by the Book is organized by The Andy Warhol Museum, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.

Related Programs
Warhol &
Paired perspectives on Warhol's eclectic creative life

Warhol & the Stuff of Books
Mar 6, 2015 at 6 pm
Matt Wrbican, Chief Archivist at The Andy Warhol Museum and Curator of Warhol by the Book
Kathryn Price, Curator of Collections at WCMA

The pair talks shop about Warhol's lifelong obsession with books. They share discoveries unearthed wading through the vast stuff of Warhol's career, and delve into the full range of his roles from author and illustrator to designer, publisher, and promoter.

Warhol & Cookbooks

Apr 7, 2015 at 6 pm
Susan Rossi-Wilcox, Culinary historian
Darra Goldstein, Williams Professor of Russian and Founding Editor of Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture.

Rossi-Wilcox and Goldstein read between the lines of illustrated recipes with a look at a mid-century culture clash. Wild Raspberries, the cookbook Warhol produced with socialite Suzie Frankfurt, serves up satire as it mocks the post-war desire to cultivate a European lifestyle and aesthetic through food.

Warhol & Infiltrated Publishing
Apr 28, 2015 at 6 pm
Lucy Mulroney, Interim Senior Director and Curator of Special Collections at Syracuse University Libraries
Christopher Cerf, Author, composer, producer, and former Warhol collaborator

Stories from the publishing world invoke a Warhol who infiltrated mainstream channels with his counterculture spirit. Mulroney and Cerf share Warhol's proclivity for co-opting rigid structures to produce iconic books like his Index (Book), a pop-up 'children's book for hipsters.'