Spring Into Summer with Andy Warhol and Friends!


Link: Bruce Museum

The exhibition Spring into Summer with Andy Warhol and Friends! takes an unusual approach to this most famous of Pop artists. Although we tend to associate Warhol’s work with artifice and mass production—think of his bold images of Marilyn Monroe and Campbell’s Soup cans—there is another side to the artist that is often overlooked, his interest in the natural, the real, and the intimate.

The exhibition builds on three important works in the Bruce Museum collection:

  1. Warhol’s Little Red Book, 1971, a gift from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts, featuring ten unique polaroid portraits of the artist’s friends (New Canaan architect Philip Johnson and his partner David Whitney, fashion model Donna Jordan, art critic Barbara Rose, and a self-portrait);
  2. Flowers (Hand-Colored), 1974, a suite of ten silkscreens prints depicting floral still-lives, given to the Bruce by Peter Brant
  3. two large silkscreen portrait prints, Sachiko, 1977, gifts of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation.

Beyond these Bruce Museum treasures, significant loans will allow Spring into Summer with Andy Warhol and Friends! to offer an expanded view of Warhol’s aesthetic universe, including an important four-part painted portrait, never before exhibited in public, of Sachiko Goodman, along with the scores of polaroid studies that the artist made in preparation for the commission; and a fine pencil portrait by Warhol of Philip Johnson. 

Beyond the human, Warhol’s silkscreen series of 1983, Endangered Species, offers ten “animal portraits” including a San Francisco Silverspot butterfly and an American Bald Eagle. Fortuitously, the great American realist painter Philip Pearlstein, Warhol’s undergraduate roommate, has kindly agreed to lend his surprisingly abstract rendition of an American Eagle(1949) to the exhibition as well.

Finally, following the lead of Warhol’s ground-breaking exhibition of 1970, Raid the Icebox with Andy Warhol, in which the artist retrieved and put on display long-forgotten objects from the storerooms of the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, the Bruce’s own storerooms have been plundered for specimens from its historic natural science collection—butterflies, birds, and a few other creatures. Come spend some time this summer at the Bruce Museum with Andy Warhol and friends!

Spring into Summer with Andy Warhol and Friends is curated by Kenneth E. Silver, New York University Professor of Modern Art and Bruce Museum Adjunct Curator of Art, with the assistance of Courtney Long, Bruce Museum Zvi Grunberg Postdoctoral Fellow 2016-17.

This exhibition is generously supported by:

The Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund

Amica Insurance

Bank of America                     


Susan and Bill Mahoney

The 2016-17 Bruce Museum Council

Connecticut Office of the Arts