Campus News

Andy Warhol photos find temporary home in Student Center


UH was gifted 149 of Warhol’s photos in 2008, which was the last time they were displayed publicly. | Emily Burleson/The Cougar

A photography exhibition of artist Andy Warhol’s works is on display in Student Center South until mid-October.

The exhibition features 29 photos that Michael Guidry, curator of the University Art Collection, thought best represented the collection that UH possesses. Guidry said the photos were studies for Warhol’s famous silkscreen portraits of celebrities and socialites.

“It’s a good example of the Polaroids he took as studies for his silkscreen portraits, but also his candid shots of people he interacted with and places he visited,” Guidry said. “The black-and-white photos are candid shots he took on a daily basis. Warhol had his camera with him all the time and took a roll of film a day. In many ways, he was documenting his own life.”

Guidry explained that in compliance with the gift agreement with the Andy Warhol Foundation, the photos are displayed once every 10 years.

“Most people do not know we have this amazing collection,” Guidry said. “The nature of the photos is such that we cannot permanently display them. Photos are inherently delicate and these are light sensitive, so they cannot be exposed to light for any significant amount of time. They sit in storage most of the time.”

Communications junior Abigail Mendoza was surprised to discover the photos were original photographs that Warhol took.

“I was walking to a meeting upstairs and stumbled upon this,” Mendoza said. “I never even knew that this exhibit existed, and I’m extremely excited to let others know about it. I wish more students knew about this display because it wasn’t until I walked past it that I became aware.”

After the exhibition ends, the entire Warhol photo collection can be found at Special Collections in the M.D. Anderson Library. Students can also view digital versions or the actual photos if they are needed for research.

“I thought this was a great venue because so many students use and visit the Student Center on a daily basis,” Guidry said.

The exhibit can be found near Room 272 upstairs in the Student Center South.

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