Never-Before-Seen Andy Warhol Films Will Get Digitized

Hundreds of the artist’s unseen films will be digitized and made available to the public for the first time

The Warhol has announced an unprecedented partnership with The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and MPC, a global leader in visual effects, to convert hundreds of Andy Warhol’s never-before-seen films into digital format.

Warhol was a prolific film maker, making 60 feature films and over 500 black and white shorts from 1963 to 1972. But in the early 70s, Warhol pulled most of the films he directed out of circulation, and they have been languishing unseen ever since.

Now this partnership will bring to light nearly 1000 rolls of original 16 mm film, digitally scanning them frame by frame into high resolution images. While some of the films have been exhibited before by the MoMA (where they have been housed since the early 1990s), many will be available for viewing for the first time.

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Eric Shiner, director of The Warhol, explains in a press release:

The Warhol’s mission is to be the global keeper of his legacy. Making it possible for curators, scholars and the public to see Warhol’s total output as a filmmaker for the first time is a major step toward achieving our goals. These films stand alongside Warhol’s greatest works and are as significant as his paintings.

Digitizing the films is seen as an opportunity by both museums to expand the public programming surrounding Andy Warhol, making it possible to use in exhibitions, host public screenings and provide greater accessibility to scholars.

“This remarkable collaboration represents the largest effort to digitize work of a single artist in MoMA’s collection,” Rajendra Roy, The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film at MoMA says. “The results will allow us to maintain our custodial responsibility for the long term analog preservation of Andy Warhol’s films, and will help provide broader access to them for research and theatrical exhibition.”

The entire process will take several years, as scanning the delicate film must done with great care – the ‘same care as the most valuable canvases,’ according Patrick Moore, The Warhol’s deputy director. But some of the unseen footage will be on show later this year at The Warhol’s upcoming performance, Exposed: Songs for Unseen Warhol – a show melding the 15 Warhol films with live music.

The Warhol // MoMA // MPC

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