15 Minutes of Fame: Andy Warhol and the Cult of Celebrity

By Alyssa Wilson ~ Assistant Editor

Photo of an artwork by Andy Warhol of rockstar, Mick Jagger hung in the Daura Museum of Art at the University of Lynchburg. Photo was taken on the 19th of August, 2021 by Alyssa Wilson 

The Daura Museum of Art at the University of Lynchburg was donated a great collection of Polaroid photos taken by famous artist, Andy Warhol, by the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program of the Andy Warhol Foundation to be added to the museum’s expansive collection. 

Warhol took tens of thousands of Polaroid photographs of celebrities, artists, and activists alike. In the Daura Museum, there are photos of  a rockstar, Mick Jagger,  a transgender drag queen, Wilhelmina Ross, and a fashion designer, Giorgia Armani, amongst many other influential people in pop culture history. 

Warhol had an obsession with photographing his life and would take a Polaroid SX Camera everywhere he often referred to it as his “date”. Most of Warhol’s photographs are centered around nightlife and drug culture as a majority of his photos were taken at the famous club, Studio 54 that Warhol and his entourage often frequented. 

Photo of a Poloroid taken by Andy Warhol of Wilhelima Ross. Photo taken on the 20th of August 2021 by Alyssa Wilson.                                                
Photo of a Polaroid taken by Andy Warhol of couple Keith Haring and Juan Debose. Photo taken on the 20th of August 2021 by Alyssa Wilson.

Dr. Barbara Rothermel, director of the Daura Museum of Art, says, “Andy Warhol was a very interesting person and a foremost artist in the mid 20th century. He was a representative of all the changes that were happening in his time. I hope students will walk away knowing that art comes in many, many forms.” 

Rothermel continues, “I hope they will know what role he played as an artist in bringing about change in society and how we perceive art. What is it that changed at that time in the banner of popular art?” 

The museum is hosting several events around the Andy Warhol events. Coordinator for Academic and Public Engagement Laura Cole is working with professors on campus to get classes into the museum and working with the exhibit. 

“Right now, I am working with quite a few art classes. Especially with the printmaking and photography classes which ties in very directly with what we have going on here at the museum. But also doing stuff with courses in art history, english and communications classes,” says Cole. 

This exhibit will be up in the museum until September 24th, and the museum will be hosting a talk about Andy Warhol and pop art which will be presented by someone from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, VA. 

Key words: Daura Gallery, Lynchburg, Virginia, University of Lynchburg, Andy Warhol, Art, Exhibit, Richmond, Exhibit, Popular Culture 

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