It’s not everyday you walk into a Haverford academic building and stumble across internationally acclaimed artwork, but sure enough, propped up against the wall of The Atrium Gallery in the Marshall Fine Arts Center sit dozens of Andy Warhol’s Pop Art prints. Over the past eight years, seven of the iconic Marilyn Monroe prints, one Grace Kelly image, and eight of the Flowers series, have been acquired by the College.
The newest exhibition curated by the Haverford College Fine Arts Department – Andy Warhol: The Pop Image Subverted – encompasses a sample of Warhol’s work purchased between 2008 and 2014, along with additional photographs and silkscreen prints that influenced Warhol’s work. Such influential works include the art of Haverford Alumnus Maxfield Parrish (Class of 1892), who was the first artist to license the reproduction of original work. This meant art consumers and collectors had to purchase the rights to reproduce Parrish’s work. Parrish not only influenced Warhol’s business model, but also inspired Warhol’s fantastical use of colors, which Parrish showcased in his landscapes. The colors seen in The Dinky Bird and in Parrish’s other work seem exaggerated, yet become visible through certain situations in nature. Warhol used these highly saturated colors as a tool to sensationalize the form of his images. Through their exhibition, Haverford’s collection of twenty-six Warhol prints illustrate the transformation of popular culture into pop art. The 36 5/16 x 36 5/16 inch square prints are displayed alongside original photographs and newspaper articles of John and Jackie Kennedy, which Warhol would later use to explore celebrity iconography and tragedy.
The opening reception of Andy Warhol: The Pop Image Subverted is this Friday, January 27, 2017 from 5:30–7:00 p.m. in the Atrium Gallery at the Marshall Fine Arts Center. The exhibition space will also be open Mon–Fri: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m and runs until April 23, 2017.