Guise & Dolls at Wadsworth Atheneum

The John Burton Harter Foundation has provided a grant supporting the catalog for the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art exhibition, Warhol & Mapplethorpe: Guise & Dolls, on view from October 17, 2015 to January 24, 2016 in Hartford, Conn.

In addition, the Wadsworth Atheneum has added J. B. Harter (Self) to its permanent collection. The acquisition is based in part on its display of Harter’s draftsman skills. The drawing joins works of other gay artists exploring queer themes in the collection, including Harter’s inspiration Paul Cadmus, as well as Marsden Hartley, George Platt Lynes, John O’Reilly, George Tooker, Felix Gonzalez, and David Wojnarowicz.

Guise & Dolls

The Warhol & Mapplethorpe: Guise & Dolls exhibit and scholarly catalog are the first of their kind to explore intersections between Warhol, Mapplethorpe, and their art, including portraits each artist made of the other as seen on the catalog’s front and back covers. The focus also examines the vibrant and tumultuous culture shifts in New York during the 1970s and ’80s through their bodies of work.

Warhol and Mapplethorpe’s iconic portraits address sexuality, gender, and role playing masculinity, femininity, and ambiguity. The artists’ many self-portraits are also showcased, evoking disguises, characters, and ambiguous personalities.

Warhol & Mapplethorpe: Guise & Dolls is curated by Patricia Hickson, Emily Hall Tremaine Curator of Contemporary Art at the Wadsworth Atheneum. The catalog features essays by Hickson (overview), Jonathan David Katz (on Pop, camp, and how the artists worked outside of their times, informing considerations of sexuality); Tirza True Latimer (impact of portrait practices on contemporary art and queer culture); and Maria Luisa Pacelli (Warhol’s premiere exhibition of Ladies & Gentlemen in 1975). Additional contributors include Eileen Myles, Vincent Fremont, and Christopher Makos.

Founded in 1842 and opened in 1844, the Wadsworth Atheneum is the oldest continually-operating public art museum in the United States.