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The Warhol Museum announces digital conversion of the Andy Warhol film collectio

The world will soon have digital access to the entire collection of Warhol Films.
The world will soon have digital access to the entire collection of Warhol Films.
The Warhol Museum

It has been announced that hundreds of Andy Warhol’s films (many never before seen by the public) will be digitally converted through a new partnership between The Warhol Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and MPC (a global leader in VFX.

The project involves approximately 500 Warhol titles of films made between 1963 and 1972 that were withdrawn from public view over 40 years ago. In the process, almost 1,000 rolls of 16mm movie film will be digitally scanned frame by frame and converted to high resolution images. The project will take several years to complete due to the delicate nature of the original film. Once completed, the entire collection of Warhol films will be made available for public screening.

The original films have been housed (and in some cases exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art since the early 1990s as part of the museum’s collection of some 22,000 original films. The Warhol films are among the most requested works from MoMA’s Circulating Film Library.

By digitalizing the films, the museum hopes that it will provide more opportunities for public programming, lending to other institutions and museums for public screenings, accessibility to institutions of learning and used as special presentations at the Warhol Museum itself. With this partnership a preeminent Museum for modern art, a global leader in digital VFX and the world’s most prominent single artist museum come together to preserve a legacy of film.

“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 standalongside Warhol’s greatest works and are as significant as his paintings,” said, Eric Shiner, director of The Warhol.

“This remarkable collaboration represents the largest effort to digitize work of a
single artist in MoMA's collection,” said Rajendra Roy, The Celeste Bartos Chief
Curator of Film at MoMA. “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.”

MPC, an Oscar-winning digital VFX studio renowned for creating spectacular
visuals for blockbuster films and award-winning advertising campaigns, will
provide the scanning and artistic restoration to create new digital masters that retain all of the films' original character. Justin Brukman, managing director, MPC NYC said: "Today our work and creative expertise covers a broad spectrum of media sectors and platforms. In recent years MPC has collaborated with a growing number of distinguished art institutions and artists and working with The Warhol and MoMA is a wonderful opportunity. The digitization of these films is just the first phase of this project and we are all excited about exploring future opportunities together."

In relation to the digitized project, MPC has partnered with Adstream (a global provider of digital asset management solutions). Through this partnership it provides The Warhol and MoMA the ability to manage and share the digital films from one platform to anywhere in the world.

“We were looking for a technology partner that understood the importance of
Warhol films,” added Patrick Moore, The Warhol’s deputy director and adjunct
curator of the project. “These films warrant the same care as the most valuable
canvases in our collection. As The Warhol celebrates its 20th anniversary year, it is
critical that we honor Warhol’s films as a major product of his legacy.”

In 1963, Andy Warhol obtained his first motion picture camera, a Bolex 16mm. that year he filmed “Sleep”, his first movie. Warhol defied Hollywood conventions by focusing his camera on single objects for hours at a time. Over the course of his career, he produced hundreds of short screen tests, capturing movie film portraits of friends, colleagues and visitors to his studio “The Factory”. In all, almost 600 films were completed from documentaries to dramas. The film that obtained the most commercial success was a 3½ double screen film titled “The Chelsea Girls (1966).

As part of his “Exploding Plastic Inevitable” exhibition, film was used as an integral part. The project itself was a multi-sensory experience of projected images (still and moving), light and live music and was first shown in 1966 at “The Dom” in New York City. “EPI” was recently unveiled as a part of the Warhol Museum’s 20th anniversary reimagining of its galleries. The renovation included a new gallery that allowed for easy retrieval and touch screen access to more than 100 Warhol films and videos. In total, The Warhol Museum owns 60 feature films, 279 screen tests and more than 4,000 videos which is the entire output of the artist’s cinema work.

Geralyn Huxley, curator of film & video at The Warhol, explains, “There are many, many Warhol films that have either never been seen by the public or have been seen in less than ideal presentations. It has long been my dream to make all of his films available to everyone, and they will be astonished by the range and vibrancy of thefilm work.”
The Warhol Museum has announced that fifteen never publicly seen films (that have been restored by MPC) will have their digital debut during the Exposed: Songs for Unseen Warhol Films holds its premiere this year. The films will be shown with live music written and performed by Tom Verlaine, Martin Rev, Dean Wareham, Eleanor Friedberger, and Bradford Cox.

The project is a jointly commissioned work by The Warhol, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and UCLA’s Centers for the Art of Performance.

"Exposed…” opens in Pittsburgh at the Carnegie Music Hall (Oakland) on October 17, 2014, with subsequent performances at Royce Hall at UCLA on October 24, and as part of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 2014 Next Wave Festive taking place at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in New York on November 6-8, 2014.

About The Andy Warhol Museum

Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the place of Andy Warhol's birth, The Andy Warhol Museum holds the largest collection of Warhol’s artworks and archival materials and is one of the most comprehensive single-artist museums in the world. The Andy Warhol Museum is one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. Additional information about The Warhol is available at www.warhol.org. The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, located in New York City, and The Andy Warhol Museum are separate entities that share a common goal of protecting and furthering the legacy of Andy Warhol. The mission of The Andy Warhol Foundation, a charitable foundation established in 1987 after Warhol’s death, is the advancement of the visual arts. For more information about The Andy Warhol Foundation, visit www.warholfoundation.org

The Andy Warhol Museum receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency and The Heinz Endowments. Further support is provided by the Allegheny Regional Asset District.

About Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh

Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1895, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a
collection of four distinctive museums dedicated to exploration through art and
science: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. The museums reach more than 1.3 million people annually through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities, and special events.

About the Museum of Modern Art

Founded in 1929 as an educational institution, The Museum of Modern Art is
dedicated to being the foremost museum of modern art in the world. Through the leadership of its trustees and staff, the museum manifests this commitment by establishing, preserving, and documenting a collection of the highest order that reflects the vitality, complexity and unfolding patterns of modern and contemporary art; by presenting exhibitions and educational programs of unparalleled significance; by sustaining a library, archives, and conservation laboratory that are recognized as international centers of research; and by supporting scholarship and publications of preeminent intellectual merit. Central to The Museum of Modern Art’s mission is the encouragement of an ever-deeper understanding and enjoyment of modern and contemporary art by the diverse local, national, and international audiences that it serves. Additional information is available at www.moma.org.

About MPC

MPC is a creative studio who craft spectacular visual experiences in any space, on any screen. A global leader in VFX for over 25 years with industry-leading
facilities in London, Vancouver, Los Angeles, New York, Bangalore, Montreal,
Amsterdam and Mexico City. Renowned for adding visual wonder and creative
expertise to the advertising, film and entertainment industries. Recent projects
include films such as “Godzilla”, ‘Maleficent”, “X-Men”, “Days of Future Past”,“Life of Pi”, “World War Z”, “The Lone Ranger”, and advertising campaigns for brands such as Coca-Cola, Nike, Sony, EA and Dell. Their broad range of skill-sets provide a multitude of creative solutions, including concept design, pre-viz, shoot supervision, 2D compositing, 3D/CG effects, animation, motion design, software development, digital & experiential production, colour grading for advertising and any combination of these services. MPC is a Technicolor Company.