Warhol by the Book

Out with the old and in with the new is right. I’ve posted earlier about the first (at least that i know about) exhibition of Warhol’s books called Reading Andy Warhol held at the Brandhorst Museum in Munich and how that exhibition catalogue helped with me images of some dust jackets i didn’t know about. Well, that exhibition is already yesterdays news since it ended almost a year ago. And there is also something bigger and most likely also better on the horizon.

I can’t honestly say that i’m up to speed with what”s happening in the art world in general, most of it is just weird and pretentious to me. I don’t keep track of current and/or upcoming exhibitions at different museums and things like that. However, i do try and look around for Warhol related shows from time to time but i can’t say i spend that much time on it. So, with that said there’s probably a 50/50 chance i would have caught this upcoming thing. But thanks to fellow collector Guy Minnebach i didn’t have to worry about missing out. Anyways, time to get to the point!

In just a few months, march 7th to be exact an exhibition called Warhol by the Book will open at the Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown and this will be the first US exhibition to focus on Warhol’s book work . Even though i will not be able to go see it and don’t have any more information other than what’s on the site and in the press release i’m very excited about these news! The exhibition is organized by The Andy Warhol Museum and the curator is Matt Wrbican – chief archivist at The Warhol. I’ve never had any contact with him personally but from what i’ve heard from Guy Minnebach he is (perhaps obvious) extremely knowledgeable and a true gentleman, so all things set for a great exhibition! Just yesterday i mentioned my small “Warhol library” but maybe i shouldn’t brag and boast too much. My twenty or so books definitely pales in comparison to the more than 400(!) items that will be featured in this exhibition. I can’t even start to guess what’s among all this stuff. Besides the obvious dust jackets that i’m mainly interested in i know that there are lots of books with illustrations by Warhol such as cookbooks, children’s books and a ton of other stuff. Add to that a couple of extreeeeeeemely rare and sought after books what were privately published in the 50’s, for example In the Bottom of My Garden and Holy Cats by Andy Warhol’s Mother which were both up on Christie’s just a couple of weeks ago. Maybe the little booklet that i was once so proud of finding will also be on display. But how to get to +400 items… can’t wait to see it all!

I also know that Guy Minnebach has lent at least one book to the exhibition. I’ve actually invited him to guest blog about that particular book so i won’t spoil the surprise in case he decides to take me up on my offer. But he has sent me some images and i will say that it’s an amazing looking book, and since not even The Warhol has a copy i would guess calling it rare is nothing but a huge understatement. Another thing i know for certain is that the only book cover that i’ve chosen to keep “secret” and that Guy Minnebach found just a couple of months ago will also be up for display. I won’t spoil that surprise either but maybe that will be a good thing for me personally. This book is probably the one item i’ve looked for the most, ever. I’ve contacted tons of users at Librarything who claim to have it, every single seller at Amazon for each and every edition i could find just in case is was wrongly listed, then in some cases annoyed the same sellers by also contacting them on Abebooks, obsessively checking sites like BookFinder several times a day and finally image searched for hours an hours, … And all for nothing! Hopefully soon when this cat is out of the bag more copies will surface.

Even though the exhibition does not seem to focus primarily on the dust jackets i’m very happy that this area of Warhol’s work will get it’s place in the spotlight. I guess some of it might have been there already as part of other exhibitions, as i said i’m not really up to date with these things. But whatever the case it’s very cool to see another exhibition centered on Warhols’s books. I’m also very selfishly happy that i’ve been able to accumulate as many dust jackets as i have before this happened. I have no real opinion about what the previous exhibition in Munich did for the interest of this area of Warhol’s work but i would guess that this upcoming show will get much more attention and hopefully also help raise interest. Not only is it in the US but also, as said, organized by the heart of it all.

I’m really looking forward to this and can’t wait to see images from the show and read reviews and whatnot! And i didn’t get the exhibition catalogue for the show in Munich but i will definitely try and get a copy of it for this one! Good luck and best wishes to all involved!

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