Last week Arizona State University Art Museum announced that they received a donation of 6 rare Andy Warhol outside edition prints. They are currently on display through the end of summer, and afterwards they will remain in the Museums’ permanent collection. The six prints that the museum received included two from Warhol’s Reigning Queen series, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and Queen Margarethe II of Denmark as well as Sitting Bull, Hans Christian Anderson and the Cologne Cathedral.
What makes these particular prints rare or unique is that they are considered to be “outside editions.” They are the prints produced while Warhol was working on creating the final product. They show how Warhol experimented with different colors and compositions before reaching the final pieces we know so well today. They were generally never meant for public viewing and were not usually numbered or signed. For the most part, Warhol kept them for himself, or gave a small number out to his close friends. The Andy Warhol Foundation has been donating different works by Warhol to educational institutions across the country, which is how the ASU museum received these prints. Previously, in 2008, they also received 155 photographs from the Foundation.
The museum is primarily comprised of donated works, and therefore there are often holes in their collection. The print collection manager and curator at the ASU Art Museum, Jean Makin said, “Viewing unique works like these screenprints is an educational experience that brings a physical reality to study and research.” These prints will give students, professors and visitors a rare opportunity to gain a better understanding of Warhol’s process, and how his pieces developed during the journey to the final product.