Artists’ Ball

July 17, 2020

Andy Warhol at the Newport Art Museum Gala for “Andy Warhol’s Children’s Show” in 1985 being kissed by Paloma Charmarro.
Richard Schwab, Paloma Kissing Andy, 1985, gelatin silver print, Newport Art Museum 2006.007.001, Gift of Richard Schwab.

The Newport Art Museum’s Artists’ Ball has been a summer fundraising tradition since 1929. This festive dinner dance to support the Museum’s exhibitions, collection, programs and community arts outreach, attracts an eclectic group of civic and cultural leaders, collectors, museum directors, arts patrons, and highly-regarded contemporary artists.

Next summer’s Artists’ Ball will celebrate pop artist icon Andy Warhol and mark the opening of the Museum’s exhibition “Andy Warhol: Big Shot,” Warhol’s third exhibition at our Art Museum.

Andy Warhol is well known for his appropriation of other people’s photographs, from the portraits to the press photographs he reproduced and repeated in silkscreens and paintings, but he was also an avid photographer. His favored cameras were the Polaroid Big Shot, a large bulky plastic camera with a fixed lens, and the slightly more-nimble SX-70. “Andy Warhol: Big Shot” will feature many of Warhol’s iconic Polaroid portraits along with paintings and silkscreens.

Andy Warhol: Big Shot

JULY 17, 2020
Artists’ Ball Special Event Exhibition Preview

JULY 18 – OCTOBER 18, 2020
Exhibition Open to the Public

The exhibition “Andy Warhol: Big Shot” takes into consideration the integral role photography played in Warhol’s life and artistic practice and focuses on his use of instant photography—his Polaroids. By displaying Warhol’s Polaroids along with the final silkscreens and paintings for which they were studies, we will explore the relationships between the artist’s process, subject matter and mediums. This exhibition also provocatively comments on our enduring fixation with celebrity, our fascination with instant imaging (from Polaroids to cell phone photos) and our present-day obsession with social media.

Warhol and the Newport Art Museum

“Andy Warhol: Big Shot” will be Warhol’s third exhibition at the Newport Art Museum. In August of 1974, Judith Richardson Silvia, the Newport Art Museum’s first director, curated “Modernism in Newport 1974-1977.” This exhibition featured a selection of sixty prints by thirteen artists, lent by New York galleries. The main gallery of the historic Griswold House was filled with printworks from some of the greatest icons of Pop Art: Andy Warhol’s screen prints of Marilyn Monroe and Chairman Mao; Roy Lichtenstein’s Mirror linocuts and lithographs; and James Rosenquist’s super-sized lithograph Spaghetti.

Warhol’s second exhibition at the Newport Art Museum, “Andy Warhol’s Children’s Show,” opened on August 25, 1985 in the Cushing Gallery. This exhibition, organized by guest curator, Diego Cortez, assembled 100 of Warhol’s small, silk-screened images of toy robots, mechanical dogs, roll-over mice, spaceships and clowns. The images were done in acrylic paints in bright luminous industrial colors and were hung at a child’s eye level, three or five feet above the floor. The one-room Cushing Gallery was decorated in a Warhol-designed wallpaper of large silver
and black fish.

Several of Warhol’s children’s books and a swatch of wallpaper from this historic exhibition are part of the Newport Art Museum’s permanent collection.