The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University have worked together to provide online access to Andy Warhol’s largest archive of photographs. Roughly 130,000 negatives and 3,600 contact sheets taken in the last decade of the artist’s life—are now digitized and available online. The photographs represent a remarkable record of the 20th century and provide a fascinating glimpse into Warhol’s public and private worlds. Making them available online is one of the many ways the Foundation has amplified Warhol’s democratizing approach to making art and fascination with mass media.
Photography was fundamental to Warhol’s art, and one of the primary connections he had with the world. He was long partial to Polaroids, but in 1977 he acquired a 35mm camera, and proceeded to shoot on average at least a roll a day over the next decade. Just as social media does today, little escaped Warhol’s lens, from street scenes and hotel interiors, to portraits and candid snapshots of his rotating social circle. Of the tens of thousands of images he shot between 1977 and ’87 in 35mm film, he enlarged only a small fraction. Now, through this archive, Warhol’s negative and contacts sheets reveal the full extent of Warhol’s passion for photography and obsession with documenting his life through the lens of his camera.