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The Cult of Personality

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The Cult of Personality:

Andy Warhol, Harold Stevenson & Portraiture



June 8 – Sept. 2, 2012


In the 1960s, Andy Warhol produced silkscreened paintings and prints of iconic personalities in American culture: Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley, and Jacqueline Kennedy. The popularity of these images led the rich and famous to commission similar portraits from Warhol in the 1970s and ‘80s. This exhibition examines Warhol’s portraiture with a special focus on the Polaroids he used a preparatory studies for theportraits he produced. The Polaroids were a gift in 2008 from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and include sitters such as R.C. Gorman, Martha Graham, Wayne Gretzky, Harold Stevenson and Mrs. Sash Spencer, one of the museum’s benefactors, whose completed portraits also will be featured. The exhibition also includes a series of portraits that Stevenson, Warhol’s contemporary and colleague, produced throughout his career, including a selection from his 1968 series The Great Society. Stevenson celebrated the common individual in much the same way as Warhol celebrated the rich and famous, offering a poignant counterpoint in the exhibition.


Read more about the exhibition here.












Check out more of Stevenson's Great Society art here.



Harold Stevenson (U.S. b. 1929)

The Great Society (LXXXII), 1966

Mixed media on paper, 50 1/2 x 30 in.

Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, The University of Oklahoma, Norman; Gift of the artist, 2007




Andy Warhol (U.S., 1928-1987)

Elvis, 1964, from Multiples Portfolio:  Artists and Photographs, 1970

Offset lithograph, 11 ¼ x 8 ¼ in.

Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, The University of Oklahoma, Norman; Purchase, 1970