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More than 130,000 photographs by Andy Warhol have been made available – and they’re all online

A new Andy Warhol exhibit has just opened, and you can view it with a click of your mouse.

Or tap of your thumb, or swipe of your forefinger. Whatever suits you.

Thanks to Stanford University’s Cantor Arts Centre and Stanford Libraries, 130,000 original never-before-seen Warhol photographs are now available to view online.

Donned the Andy Warhol Photography Archive, it is a treasure trove of images, giving us a glimpse at ordinary moments in the artist’s extraordinary life. The photographs range from 1976 to his death in 1987.

Andy Warhol contact sheet

Detail from Contact Sheet [Photo shoot with Andy Warhol with shadow], 1986. Image credit: © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

Although Warhol is predominantly known for bringing pop art into high culture, he was an avid photographer and filmmaker.

In the last decade of his life, he was well known for the 35mm camera that was practicality strapped to his hand.

Amy Dipasquale, who led the digitisation effort, and has spent the last two-and-a-half years compiling the collection, told Stanford News:

“Warhol took his camera with him and snapped images from the time he left his apartment, through midtown Manhattan, to work at his offices overlooking Union Square, to nights at uptown galas or downtown nightclubs.”

As a result of Warhol’s dedicated snapping, the scenes presented in the archive range from glamorous nights out, to rubbish-strewn streets, to candid snaps of celebrities like Truman Capote.

Andy Warhol Contact sheet

Behind the scenes at photo shoot with Liza Minnelli; At a nightclub with Liza Minnelli, Victor Hugo in epaulets and shirtless with necklace, Andy Warhol, Richard Weisman, Steve Rubell] July, 1979. Image Credit: © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

This visual diary contains the most comprehensive collection of the artist’s black and white photos ever made available to the public. It contains over 3,600 contact sheets, which are the piece of photographic paper on which the negatives are printed.

The astounding number of photographs were acquired in 2014 from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Curators then decided what to do with the immense collection. It’s safe to say that the move to make them freely accessible online is a choice that all people with an interest in art and history will thank them for for many years to come.

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