Andy Warhol Western Art on view at Eiteljorg in Indy

An intriguing exhibit on the work and life of Pop Art Icon Andy Warhol will be on view at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, March 12 through August 7. Warhol’s West is a traveling exhibition that explores the fascination Warhol had with the American West and Native Americans. Making the exhibition even more engaging will be a series of public programs at the Eiteljorg where visitors can learn more about Warhol and his art.

The show will feature Warhol’s screenprint portraits created late in his career of important historical figures of the West, including Geronimo, Annie Oakley and Sitting Bull, as well as of pop culture figures such as Western movie actor John Wayne. Warhol’s West includes source material such as photographs Warhol used to adapt and create his prints, as well as movie posters and lobby cards from one of his films. Adding to a discussion of the ways in which Native cultures have been culturally appropriated and represented, the exhibit also will feature a selection of Native American images by noted photographer Edward S. Curtis, whose work Warhol collected extensively.

Internationally known for his Pop Art creations of the 1960s, including screenprints of Marilyn Monroe and famous images of the Campbell’s Soup can and Brillo soap pad box, Warhol also harbored a lifelong interest in the West, and he personally collected items of Native American art and Western art. Twenty-one original silkscreen prints in bold colors are featured in Warhol’s West. Many come from the series Cowboys and Indians, the final suite of prints that Warhol created in 1986, not long before his death in 1987 at age 58.   

“With the Eiteljorg Museum’s focus on the art, history and cultures of Native America and the American West, we are looking forward to hosting this thought-provoking exhibition of Andy Warhol’s late-career work,” Eiteljorg President and CEO John Vanausdall said. “I have encountered many people who were unaware and surprised to learn of Andy Warhol’s fascination with the West. However, the myths and realities of the American West have always been a profound part of our nation’s persona. And so, it is really no surprise that the icon of Pop Art, Warhol, was inspired by this area of American mythology; and the works he created are sure to fascinate Eiteljorg visitors.”

Warhol’s West was organized by the Booth Western Art Museum, Cartersville, GA, and the Cochran Collection, LaGrange, GA, and the Eiteljorg is the latest stop on its tour. 

The exhibition explores how Warhol culturally appropriated historic images of Geronimo, Sitting Bull and other historic Native Americans to create screenprints. It also looks at how Warhol portrayed and critiqued individuals such as General George Armstrong Custer and Theodore Roosevelt, who in the late 19th and early 20th centuries often were seen as heroic figures, but in today’s world are considered troubling and problematic due to their histories of racism, colonialism and imperialism.

About the Eiteljorg

A cultural pillar for nearly 33 years in downtown Indianapolis’ scenic White River State Park, the Eiteljorg Museum seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the arts, histories and cultures of the Native peoples of North America and of the American West by telling amazing stories.

Located on the Central Canal at 500 West Washington St., the Eiteljorg is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. It was named one of the USA Today Readers’ Choice 10 Best Indiana Attractions. The Eiteljorg Museum is in full compliance with all state and local public health requirements for indoor gatherings. Guests are required to wear face masks and take other precautions. 

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