Woodbury House is excited to announce the much-anticipated opening of 'The Lost Archive of Andy Warhol,' a captivating solo exhibition showcasing the evocative photography of William John Kennedy.

This extraordinary showcase features a rediscovered collection of signed photographs taken by William John Kennedy in the early 1960s, capturing the essence of the art icon Andy Warhol. The exhibition consists of thirty of these photographs, some never seen before plus a Museum Edition Set.

This Limited-Edition portfolio, signed in the colophon by William John Kennedy, is comprised of four hand-printed gelatin silver photographs and one chromogenic print. It is assembled in a custom-designed hand-made archival aluminium box, accompanied by 6 smaller archival aluminium boxes that include a Foreword, Introduction, and 5 Essays. The portfolio is 22" x 28" in size and exclusively created for The Andy Warhol Museum, and is limited to an edition of 50 with 5 artist proofs.

As you stand before these captivating images, it is essential to acknowledge their extraordinary journey to this point. Forgotten for years, their re-emergence was sparked by a serendipitous encounter—a misattributed photograph in a seminal book on Andy Warhol. This chance occurrence reignited Kennedy’s memory and set in motion a remarkable journey of rediscovery. In 2006, the release of a large-format book on Andy Warhol considered a definitive guide to his life and work, unveiled a photograph captured by William John Kennedy, erroneously credited to another photographer. This revelation ignited a spark within Kennedy, propelling him to revisit a forgotten chapter of his artistic legacy. For over four decades, these images lay dormant, concealed within a box, awaiting rediscovery.

In 2008, William John Kennedy embarked on a quest to unearth these long-forgotten treasures, delving into his archives to retrieve what would become a collection of unparalleled historical significance. This collection not only celebrates Warhol but also pays homage to the introduction to Warhol, by Robert Indiana, with an image specifically curated within this exhibition of the two of them together, taken at the ‘Museum of Modern Art’ during an exhibition featuring Indiana’s work back in 1963.

Kennedy’s exceptional talent as a photographer transcends mere technical prowess; it lies in his remarkable ability to capture the very essence of his subjects. His images of Andy Warhol offer a rare glimpse into the inner world of an artist on the brink of greatness, shedding light on facets of Warhol’s persona rarely seen by the public eye.

One particular moment stands out—the iconic ‘Marilyn’ image. As Warhol pulled out acetate, Kennedy seized the opportunity, capturing a young, unknown Warhol peering through the acetate amidst the iconic ‘Marilyn’ image. This serendipitous moment, whether attributed to fate or skill, holds immense historical significance, offering a glimpse into the earliest iteration of a work that would later fetch a staggering $195 million at auction, becoming the seventh most expensive artwork sold ever.

Today, this particular image proudly adorns the lobby of the ‘Warhol Museum’. In this image, Warhol stands in The Factory, bathed in sunlight pouring through the windows, holding aloft the acetate of Marilyn Monroe. The decision to showcase this image in the lobby was driven by its profound impact. By placing it prominently, the museum aims to foster an emotional connection between visitors and Warhol upon entry to the museum, a figure who may otherwise be perceived as remote or enigmatic. Joseph Bannan, Partner, and Curator of Woodbury House explains:

We are thrilled to present 'The Lost Archive of Andy Warhol,' featuring the remarkable photography of William John Kennedy. Kennedy's work offers a rare glimpse into the inner world of one of the most iconic artists of our time, captured by a pioneer who was ahead of his time.

Kennedy's journey since his rediscovery has been marked by remarkable achievements and recognition, including collaborations with the Andy Warhol Museum. His photographs now adorn esteemed collections of major institutions worldwide, underscoring the significance of his work in preserving and showcasing the legacy of Andy Warhol.

As you navigate this exhibition, I invite you to contemplate the profound impact of William John Kennedy's work and the enduring legacy of Andy Warhol. Each photograph serves as a poignant reminder of art's ability to transcend time and space, inviting us to reconsider our understanding of the past and envision the possibilities of the future.

(Joseph Bannan)

Woodbury House invites art lovers, historians, and curious-minded alike to join us for this special exhibition, promising a journey through time and artistry.

Kennedy knew intuitively that the only way to truly see Warhol was to see his art. In uniting Warhol the man with Warhol the artist, Kennedy has given us some of the most joyous and insightful images of Andy Warhol ever created. Remarkably, Kennedy kept his archive in storage for nearly 50 years. Now, The Andy Warhol Museum is delighted to be involved in bringing these images to a wider public.

(Eric Shiner, former Director of The Andy Warhol Museum)

Perhaps the most striking feature of William John Kennedy’s photographs of Warhol is the manner in which they seek to elide the artist and his work.

(Nicholas Chambers, The Andy Warhol Museum, Milton Fine Curator of Art)

William John Kennedy is a part of my life and work daily. His portrait of Warhol looking out through the Marilyn acetate dominates the lobby of The Andy Warhol Museum, reproduced in a giant print. It is the backdrop for the casual snaps of the thousands of tourists who visit the museum. The image has become our informal emblem.

(Patrick Moore, Director, The Andy Warhol Museum)

Kennedy's exceptional skills as a photographer; his unusual and creative intertwining of artists and their work; and his close, collaborative relationships with his subjects are all key to the power of these images.

(Elizabeth Smith, Photography Consultant)