Whitney Museum transfers large archive of Andy Warhol films to MoMA

We have Warhol on the move! The Whitney Museum of American Art has announced the transfer of a large archive of research on Andy Warhol’s cinematographic work to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). In order to keep the archives accessible to academics, the documents – which Whitney and MOMA have worked since 1984 to collectively assemble – will now be housed at MOMA.

The move occurs in tandem with the publication of a second volume of Warhol’s Film Catalog raisonné, which was released by the Whitney in 2006, titled The Films of Andy Warhol Catalog Raisonné, 1963-1965, Volume 2. The publication, which includes works like blow job (1964) and Outdoor and indoor space (1965), will be released this week and is scheduled for a virtual symposium hosted by the Whitney in early December.

Warhol produced hundreds of films throughout the 1960s, and these experimental works are highly regarded as “radical explorations beyond the boundaries of conventional cinema,” according to the Whitney. From 1963 to 1968, Warhol produced nearly 650 films, including hundreds of Screen tests, or portrait films, and dozens of feature films, in a range of styles. The creation of the Warhol Film Archive was initiated by curator John G. Hanhardt during his tenure as head of film and video at the Whitney. The archives have assembled manuscripts and other material partially throughout the production of Warhol’s Film Catalog raisonné, which focuses on the making of Warhol films between 1963 and 1965. In 1970, Warhol withdrew all of his films of the cast, putting an end to all public screening and creating a veil of mythical darkness around them.

blow job (1964), 16 mm, b & w, silent; 41 mins @ 16 fps, 36 min. @ 18 fps (CR no. 1964.3) (© 2021 The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, a Carnegie Institute museum. All rights reserved.)

“The publication of this second volume is extremely important,” Whitney director Adam Weinberg said in a press release regarding the importance of the catalog and the supporting research archive. “The Whitney’s continued efforts to document, research and study Warhol’s remarkable cinematic works – along with the preservation and digitization initiatives of MoMA and the Andy Warhol Museum – have brought them to a wider audience.”

Warhol enthusiasts can rejoice, mark their calendars for the book’s release and upcoming discussions, and salute the continued work between these two institutions to preserve the cinematic legacy of one of the world’s greatest puzzles. ‘art.

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