Published: September 5, 2006
Andy Warhol’s Athlete Series will go on view at the Allentown Art Museum on Tuesday, September 12, through October 1. The exhibition will be free with museum admission.
Warhol’s athletes paintings consist of ten 40-by-40-inch, images that Warhol made between 1977 and 1978. The artist was commissioned by his friend and art collector Richard Weisman, who believed that the two popular leisure time activities, art and sports, should be brought together. Personally chosen by Weisman, the athletes depicted are Jack Nicklaus, Chris Evert, Tom Seaver, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Pele, O.J. Simpson, Dorothy Hamill, Willie Shoemaker, Muhammad Ali and Rod Gilbert. Weisman has loaned his paintings to the museum for this installation.
Weisman is a world-renowned art collector and author of Picasso to Pop, a book chronicling his collecting activity from the 1960s through the 1980s. Weisman has been a keen observer of Pop Art from its inception. He gained his perspective and knowledge of art, in part, from his family of art patrons and collectors. Weisman’s mother, Marcia Weisman, was a founder of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles.
His collection features work by artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Willem de Kooning, Max Ernst, Norman Rockwell and Henry Moore, among many others. Through his collecting activity, Weisman has formed personal relationships with several key artists of his generation.
Weisman will sign copies of Picasso to Pop at the museum on Thursday, September 14, from 6 to 8 pm. Take this unique opportunity to hear personal anecdotes of Weisman’s friendships with Warhol and other renowned artists. Picasso to Pop highlights works both formerly and presently in Weisman’s collection, with 100 full color illustrations. The book can be purchased for $40, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the museum.
The Allentown Art Museum is at 31 North Fifth Street. For information, www.allentownartmuseum.org or 610-432-4333, extension 10.
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