PaperCity Magazine

October 2017- Houston

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Page 37 of 147

36 K eys and clues to one of the 20th century's most famous yet misunderstood artists lie inside prosaic cardboard boxes stored on the third floor of a grand neoclassical edifice near downtown Pittsburgh. Houston gallerist Cindy Lisica — who has a Ph.D. in art history and an adjunct professorship at the University of Houston — is the former curator/keeper of the Time Capsules for The Andy Warhol Museum. In a special report for PaperCity on the 30th anniversary of the Pop king's passing, Lisica opens up about the Time Capsules that contain the keepsakes of Warhol's life. Edited by Catherine D. Anspon. Known to the archivists and museum staff at The Andy Warhol Museum as simply the TCs, the Time Capsules are 610 boxes of Andy Warhol's "stuff" — intimate, revealing windows into the world of Warhol. Visiting researchers, writers, celebrities, scholars, and curators from across the globe make pilgrimages to the museum in the artist's hometown of Pittsburgh, and they leave with an abundance of previously hidden and unpublished material and ideas. Objects related to any subject can be found in these Time Capsules, assiduously assembled by Warhol over a 13-year period. Warhol began the Time Capsules in 1974, when he moved his Manhattan studio and Tom Ford and Lisa Eisner at LE for TF debut in 2015 offices from 33 Union Square West — aka the second Factory, where he was shot and nearly killed by Valerie Solanas in 1968 — to 860 Broadway, a short distance away. Rather than hiring movers, his staff and friends were tasked with all of the packing … and the Time Capsules were born. For the rest of his life, Warhol continued to place his daily correspondence, documents, ephemera, souvenirs, source materials, photos, and knick- knacks into standard-sized (10 x 14 x 18 inch) cardboard boxes, with little discernible hierarchy and no particular order. No special treatment was given; all objects were egalitarian, from a hotel napkin to a rare Cartier watch, medical documents to cute Valentines, grocery bags to designer handbags. If "art is what you can get away with," and Pop Art is about "liking things," then Andy's whole life was Pop. As an art historian, the TCs are the source of the most primary of research; as a Warhol fan, they are like having the keys to his diary, his closet, and the back door. Working for the Warhol Museum was both my first museum job and my first peek into Warhol's Time Capsules. In 2001, seven years after the founding of the museum and nearly 15 years after the artist's death, only a few dozen TCs had even been opened by the museum's archivist, Matt Wrbican, as the demands of a busy organization, small staff, limited storage, and a huge collection kept this massive multi-year project at bay. UNkNOWN ANDY CRACKING OPEN WARHOL'S TIME CAPSULES THE Above: Passport of the Pop king's mom, Julia Warhola, 1920, Time Capsule 522. Left: Andy Warhol's Self-Portrait, 1986, at The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. ARTWORK AND TIME CAPSULES COLLECTION THE ANDY WARHOL MUSEUM, PITTSBURGH (continued on page 38)

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