Andy Warhol Foundation Shuts Down

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The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, which managed the licensing and distribution of Warhol’s work, announced late last week that it was closing. The news has generated much discussion about Warhol’s life and art, his foundation, and the state of visual art in general. If you’re interested in exploring the topic further, below are some links to relevant articles and a list of other resources on pop art.

Tributes to Andy Warhol:

People and organizations involved with the closure of the foundation:

Other resources on pop art:

On October 1, 2009 at 5:30 pm, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts announced that it would be closing its doors at the end of the year.

The foundation was founded by Warhol in 1987 and has been responsible for distributing millions of dollars to artists around the world for their work in visual arts.

In a statement released by the foundation, Interim Executive Director Louise Strand said, “I know many in our community were shocked when they received an e-mail last week announcing that the foundation would be shutting down. I can say with confidence that this decision was not made lightly.”

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has announced that it is closing, effective immediately. The foundation has been around for several decades, and it was designed to take care of the estate of pop artist Andy Warhol. When he passed away in 1987, his will established the foundation and made it a perpetual grant-making body.

The foundation’s mission was to preserve Warhol’s legacy through supporting education, safeguarding his archives, and promoting his work. It has awarded more than $120 million to creative artists and programs since its inception. But now, with only $15 million left in its endowment and no large donors interested in providing funding beyond that point, the board of trustees decided to close up shop.

This is a big deal for any number of reasons. The foundation controlled the licensing rights to much of Warhol’s most popular imagery. So what happens to all of those images? And what about the archive? Will another entity step in to take over those functions?

For decades, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has been a leader in promoting and supporting artists in New York City and internationally. The closing of the Foundation’s doors will be deeply felt by many who have worked with a wide range of programs that included grants, commissions, exhibitions, publications and educational opportunities.

Tributes have poured in from artists across the spectrum, including Chuck Close, Marina Abramovic, Louise Bourgeois and Jeff Koons.

The Andy Warhol Foundation was established in 1987 by artist Andy Warhol (1928-1987) to support the visual arts. It was created to carry on Warhol’s legacy of innovative, interdisciplinary support for emerging and established visual artists. The Foundation funded grants, commissions and publications of art as well as artist residencies through its three grant programs: 1) Artists’ Grants Program; 2) Creative Capital Visual Arts Fellowships for mid-career artists; 3) Direct Services Grants Program for curators and other art professionals. In addition to the three grant programs, the Foundation operated two other initiatives: 4) PopRally!, an annual international festival of contemporary art; 5) Creative Time Summit Artist Fellowships that brought together curators from around the world to New York City each year.[2]

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. announced yesterday that it will close its doors on December 31, 2009. The foundation, which has been a fixture of the art world since 1987, was created as an extension of Andy Warhol’s artistic legacy. It has been responsible for distributing more than $300 million to artists and organizations worldwide–including over $4 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009 alone!

The foundation was established in 1976 with a bequest from Andy Warhol and Vincent Fremont. In 1994, under the direction of Joseph Volpe, the foundation became a private operating foundation and is currently funded by art sales and investments.

In 2008-2009 The Andy Warhol Foundation celebrated its 25th anniversary by holding exhibitions and highlighting key works from its permanent collection, which includes more than 3300 works by Andy Warhol; 200 works by Jean-Michel Basquiat; 100 works by Keith Haring; more than 150 works by Roy Lichtenstein; over 300 works by Robert Rauschenberg; and dozens of other important artists including Jasper Johns, Ed Ruscha and Richard Serra. These important holdings will continue to be housed at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh where they are available to the public.*

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. (the “Foundation”) announced today that it will be winding down its operations, effective March 31, 2013. The Foundation was founded in 1987 by artist Andy Warhol and managed the licensing of his name and works for use on a wide variety of products. At present, the Foundation is engaged in litigation regarding its operations; this action is unrelated to the decision to wind down its current activities.

Trial dates relating to the litigation have been set for February 27 and 28, 2013.

On March 31, 2013, following payment of all outstanding obligations, the Foundation will distribute its assets to three non-profit organizations with an interest in visual arts education: Creative Capital Foundation, Inc., Art Production Fund, Inc., and Museum of Modern Art Department of Film.

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