Andy Warhol

(1928 - 1987)

Red Book #143


Twenty Polaroid photographs in album

3 1/2 x 5 1/2 x 1/2 in. (8.9 x 14.0 x 1.3 cm)

Collection of the Akron Art Museum

Gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

2013.40 a-u

More Information

Warhol loved Polaroid. It was immediate, disposable, intimate and mass produced. Always ahead of his time, Warhol prefigured Facebook and Instagram by capturing nearly every person he met and documenting each mundane task in his little Red Books of Polaroids. Warhol used a rigorous system of cataloguing and collecting. He would edit and sequence the Polaroids before placing them in individual red Holson photo albums, of which there are over one hundred. These thoughtfully-ordered small albums often reflect one event or time period—in this case, a few weeks in July and August of 1972. Images of 1970s music and fashion elite—Mick and Bianca Jagger, Diane Von Furstenburg and Yves Saint-Laurent—play into Warhol’s obsession with fame. Some images appear to document casual meetings, while others resulted from sittings in preparation for larger portrait paintings, as is the case with Saint-Laurent. These act simultaneously as intimate portraits of Warhol’s friends and casual snapshots of celebrity icons. Warhol’s obsession with celebrity—both his own and others’—shaped much of his work, and his interpersonal relationships with celebrity figures were central to his own artistic production and persona.


Estate stamp and number on back of each Polaroid; sticker with book number on spine and inside cover