Some of our readers might be surprised to find out that Andy Warhol, arguably the most iconic pop artist of the 20th century, was more than the guy who painted the Campbell’s soup can. He made many films, becoming almost as prolific a filmmaker as he was as a painter.
Almost 4,000 videos, nearly 300 screen tests and 65 feature films from the Warhol Archives will be digitised by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in a massive undertaking to preserve Warhol’s film work. Many of Warhol’s films have not been screened since his death in 1987 due to complications following gallbladder surgery.
Following an assassination attempt by Valerie Solanas, Warhol pulled most of his films from circulation and handed off the majority of his film production company to Paul Morrissey, who made the last film released under Warhol’s name in 1977.
Warhol kept a highly detailed video record of the goings on at his studio – called The Factory – up until he died. The videos have been shown occasionally in rotation at the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Warhol’s birthplace.
It is estimated that it will take several years to finish scanning and digitising the films.