September 3, 2020   |   By Merrill Allen

Newport Art Museum to Open New Exhibition, “Andy Warhol: Big Shot”


Merrill Allen
Director of Marketing
Newport Art Museum
76 Bellevue Avenue
Newport, RI 02840
(401) 619-7999


Newport Art Museum to Open New Exhibition, “Andy Warhol: Big Shot”
Exhibition on view September 19 – December 20, 2020

(Newport, RI – September 3, 2020) – The Newport Art Museum is pleased to present a new exhibition, “Andy Warhol: Big Shot,” which will be on view September 19 – December 20, 2020. “Andy Warhol: Big Shot” is the artist’s third exhibition at the Newport Art Museum. Warhol attended Newport Art Museum opening receptions for his first two exhibitions, which were a group show in honor of gallery owner Leo Castelli in 1977 and “Andy Warhol’s Children’s Show” in 1985. This exhibition aligns with the Museum’s mission to share a diversity of art and experiences that spark reflection, inspiration, and discovery, thereby amplifying the connections between us all. The Newport Art Museum is located at 76 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI. Visit or call 401-848-8200 for details.

Andy Warhol is well known for his appropriation of other people’s photographs, from the portraits to the press photographs that he reproduced and repeated in silkscreen prints and paintings, but he was also an avid photographer himself. This exhibition focuses on Andy Warhol’s photographic work, specifically his Polaroids. Using a Polaroid Big Shot and an SX-70 cameras, Warhol made thousands of instant photographs. He used them in many ways: to document his art and aid in his drawing for ads, take snapshots of friends and celebrities, make self-portraits, and create portraits that would become studies for paintings, prints, and drawings. Polaroids also served as a starting point for commercial work, such as album covers and advertisements. Still many other snapshots were simply part of Warhol’s quotidian visual diary—like sketches of the people who passed through his daily life.

While some of Warhol’s Polaroids were studies for other works, others were an end unto themselves. This exhibition brings together a selection of Warhol’s Polaroids along with some of the final works of art that they generated. It will also include other unique photographs by Warhol, such as his rare stitched photographs and photobooth portraits.

In many ways, Warhol anticipated Instagram, other social media platforms, and the “selfie.” “Andy Warhol: Big Shot” engages with the contemporary issues of celebrity, social media, and artistic production.

About the Newport Art Museum

The Newport Art Museum was founded in 1912 on the belief that art is a civilizing influence and an essential component to creating vibrant communities. Charter Members included Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Pulitzer-Prize winning author Maud Howe Elliott, Helena and Louisa Sturtevant, and Edith Wetmore. The first exhibition featured art works from local artists, as well as those with international reputations, including George Bellows, Mary Cassatt, and Childe Hassam.

By 1915, the organization’s founders had purchased a suitable building for their art classes and exhibitions—the John N.A. Griswold House on Newport’s famed Bellevue Avenue. This exceptional example of “stick-style” architecture was Richard Morris Hunt’s first commission in Newport and was completed in 1864.

In 1920, a second gallery building designed by the New York architectural firm, Delano and Aldrich and dedicated to the memory of artist Howard Gardiner Cushing, opened just to the south of the Griswold House. The Sarah Rives lobby and Morris Gallery were added in 1990 providing the Museum additional gallery space as well as a climate-controlled collection storage area.

In 2005, the Art Museum embarked on a decade-long renovation of the historically significant Richard Morris Hunt building. Today, the Art Museum’s beautiful 3-acre campus includes the Griswold house, the Cushing Building, and the Museum School housed in the Coleman
Center for Creative Studies. Visitors from around the world enjoy the Art Museum, its public programs and special events each year.

The permanent collection includes over 2,700 fine art objects with a focus on American artists from the 18th century to the present. Rotating exhibitions are installed annually and over the years have included artists as diverse as Winslow Homer, James McNeill Whistler, William Trost Richards, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Andy Warhol. Recent temporary exhibitions have featured artworks by Diane Arbus, George Condo, Lalla Essaydi, Shara Hughes, William Kentridge, Sally Mann, Rania Matar, and Tony Oursler, to mention a few.

Highlights of our historical collection include paintings by Gilbert Stuart and John Smibert, George Inness, Fitz Henry Lane, Lilla Cabot Perry and twenty-five works by William Trost Richards. In addition, the Museum owns works by Winslow Homer and George Bellows, iconic sculptures by William Morris Hunt and Paul Manship, and a number of works by John La Farge. The Museum also owns photographs by Aaron Siskind and wallpaper by Andy Warhol, as well as prints by Philip Guston, Corita Kent, Sol LeWitt, Roy Lichtenstein, Philip Pearlstein, and Ad Reinhardt, as well as glass art by Dale Chihuly and Toots Zynsky.