Polaroids and Snapshots by Andy Warhol
Snapshots and Polaroids by Andy Warhol

Snapshots and Polaroids by Andy Warhol

September 20 to December 6, 2014

Gallery 210, University of Missouri St. Louis

Gallery 210 at the University of Missouri-St. Louis opens the exhibition present Snapshots and Polaroids by Andy Warhol on September 20.

The exhibition features approximately 50 Polaroids and gelatin silver black-and-white prints on loan from the Turchin Center for the Arts at Appalachian State University and the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program, a division of the Andy Warhol Foundation.

From 1970 to 1987, Warhol, armed with his Polaroid Big Shot camera, captured a wide range of individuals—the royalty, rock stars, executives, artists, patrons of the arts, and athletes who epitomized seventies and eighties high society, but also as many unknown subjects. These photographs include portraits of Caroline, Princess of Monaco; Diane von Furstenberg; Keith Herring, Steve Rubell as well as many portraits of unknown persons.

Famous for his contributions to Pop Art, Warhol used photography as a central part of his art-making process. Before turning to fine art, Warhol worked in advertising and commercial art, experiences that informed his approach to portraiture. In 1962, he debuted his first silkscreen paintings of celebrities, serializing pictures he pulled from magazines and press photos. In addition to using found images, Warhol eventually incorporated his own photography into his practice. In 1969 he launched inter/View magazine, which featured his photos of celebrities. By the 1970s and 1980s, portrait commissions were a major source of his income, and many of his Polaroids would serve as the basis for these works.

While each of the images in the exhibition is unique; the consistency of composition, poses, and plain white backdrop equalizes the famous and lesser-known subjects. To Warhol, they were all beautiful people. But even within this uniform staging, we see the artist finding numerous ways to create memorable, varied, and iconic compositions. Though these photos may be small in size, together the Warhol Polaroids provide a glimpse into the artistic process of one of the twentieth century’s most important artists.

This exhibition is supported by grants from the Regional Arts Commission and the Missouri Arts Council with additional assistance from the Center for the Humanities at UM-St. Louis.


Gallery 210 is on the University of Missouri – St. Louis at 44 East Drive, TCC between the North UM-St. Louis Metro Station and Touhill Performing Arts Center.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11AM to 5PM.  The gallery phone is (314) 516-5976; the fax is (314) 516-4997; and email is gallery@umsl.edu.  For parking locations, directions, and campus map, please visit gallery210.umsl.edu.


Handicapped parking is available near Galley 210.


Image Citation

Andy Warhol

Fire Island Party, 1982

Silver Gelatin Print

Gift of the the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program, 2008

From the Permanent Collection of the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts

Polaroids and Snapshots by Andy Warhol