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Andy Warhol Photographs

Identifier: 2016-044

This collection consists of 149 photographs, 99 Polaroids, and 50 black-and-white silver gelatin prints, created between 1975 and 1985. Some of the photos are formal portraits, others are candid shots, and a few are still lifes. The photographs include images of Warhol's friends such as Jon Gould, artists such as Jamie Wyeth, and celebrities such as Princess Caroline of Monaco.

Most of the photographs are matted for exhibition, but some are housed in sleeves in folders. The images are organized by format, alphabetically, and in order according to the inventory numbers provided by the Warhol Foundation. These numbers are also used as the filenames of the digital copies.


  • 1975-1985
  • Majority of material found in 1977
  • Majority of material found in 1979
  • Majority of material found in 1983


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Conditions Governing Access:

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

University of Houston System Public Art only has ownership of the physical items within the collection. The original owner (The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.) reserves and retains all copyright, publication, and reproduction rights.

The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form.

To obtain permission to reproduce any images in the collection, contact Ms. Janet Hicks at the Artists Rights Society with a request for further consideration.

The Artists Rights Society

Ms. Janet Hicks

65 Bleecker Street, 12th Floor

New York, New York 10012

T: 212-420-9160 F: 212-420-9286 E:


3.00 linear feet

Biographical Information

Andy Warhol was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1928 as Andrew Warhola. He was the youngest of three sons of immigrants from present-day Eastern Slovakia. During elementary school, Warhol took art classes at Carnegie Institute (now the Carnegie Museum of Art), and later in his life, with the support of his father, he attended the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) studying pictorial design. Upon graduating, he worked as a commercial illustrator with his first success being an illustrated article in Glamour magazine entitled, "What is Success?" His successful career as an illustrator fueled his early artistic ventures, which consisted primarily of illustrations and self-published books.

In the 1960s, Warhol became involved in the pop art movement in New York City. During this time, he produced some of his most iconic works, including the photographic silkscreen celebrity portraits and the Death and Disaster paintings. In 1964, Warhol established his Silver Factory, a hub of artistic experimentation fueled by drugs, music, sex, and art. Here, Warhol produced hundreds of screen tests, photographs, and films. He later relocated to Union Square West where he was shot by Valerie Solanas, leaving Warhol emotionally and physically scarred and altering his experimental art style.

Warhol was obsessed with recording everything and mass production. He is famously quoted as saying, "I want to be a machine." This led to his compulsive recording and photographing. He received his first camera when he was eight years old, and over his lifetime, he created over 66,000 photographs. His work with Polaroids was prevalent in the 1970s. He documented his everyday life as well as special occasions. He was fascinated with Hollywood and celebrity, and he always wanted to be surrounded by the famous. His celebrity Polaroids series was one way Warhol stayed engaged in the celebrity scene. He also used these portraits as source material for his silkscreen prints and later his paintings when he returned to traditional painting in the 1980s. Warhol passed away in 1987 due to complications from surgery.

Physical Characteristics or Technical Requirements:

Reading Room Access: Due to preservation and security requirements of the items in the collection, there are special procedures in place for access to the Andy Warhol Photographs. Digital files of all items are available on the Reading Room computer to assist the patron in determining which items they wish to view of the original, analog prints. On the Reading Room computer, the folder titled "Series 2 - Polaroids" contains the Polaroid images, and the folder titled "Series 3 - Black and White Prints" contains the black-and-white images. The digital files are named according to the inventory numbers, found in the description of each folder in the finding aid.

Acquisition Information:

The Andy Warhol Photographs are part of the collections of University of Houston System Public Art, and held collaboratively by UHS Public Art and the University of Houston Libraries. The photographs were gifted to the University of Houston by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Note: This gift was made possible throught the Photographic Legacy program. The gift was a part of an initiative to provide greated access to Warhol's unknown bodies of work and enable institutions that may not otherwise have access to his work to acquire some of Warhol's works.

Guide to the Andy Warhol Photographs
Micaela Cadungog
Updated April 2019
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections Repository

University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
MD Anderson Library
4333 University Drive
Houston TX 77204-2000 USA