The Andy Warhol Film Project began in the 1980s when the Whitney Museum and The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) agreed to collaborate on the largest archival research project in the history of American avant-garde cinema: to catalogue Warhol’s massive film collection, investigate its history, and preserve and re-release all of the films in conjunction with a program of scholarly research and publication. Warhol himself gave his approval to the Whitney’s project and handed over his original films to MoMA for cataloguing and storage in 1984. The joint project was launched publicly in 1988 with the Whitney’s exhibition, The Films of Andy Warhol, and with MoMA’s release of thirteen newly preserved titles.
The extensive research undertaken by the Whitney will culminate in the publication of a two-volume catalogue raisonné of the Warhol films, which will include complete filmographic entries, film stills, and exhibition histories. The first volume of the catalogue raisonné, Andy Warhol Screen Tests, was published by Abrams in collaboration with the Whitney in 2006. The second volume of the catalogue raisonné, which is forthcoming and will include a comprehensive annotated bibliography for both volumes, will address the balance of Warhol’s film work.
Other Warhol exhibitions at the Whitney have included The Films of Andy Warhol: Part II (1994), which premiered fourteen newly preserved films, and Andy Warhol: Outer and Inner Space (1998), a double-screen installation of Warhol’s pioneering film-and-video portrait of Edie Sedgwick from 1965.