Chamblee54

Fifteen Minutes

Posted in Library of Congress, Quotes, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on February 25, 2019

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Andy Warhol is quoted as saying that “in the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.” This has become a popular saying. If a celebrity is getting tiresome, people will wonder when their fifteen minutes will be up. After hearing about fifteen minutes his entire life, PG began to wonder if Drella really said that. If you can’t be cynical about Andy Warhol…

Wikipedia is a good place to start. “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes” … appeared in the program for a 1968 exhibition of his work at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden. Photographer Nat Finkelstein claimed credit for the expression, stating that he was photographing Warhol in 1966 for a proposed book. A crowd gathered trying to get into the pictures and Warhol supposedly remarked that everyone wants to be famous, to which Finkelstein replied, “Yeah, for about fifteen minutes, Andy.” Nat Finkelstein was a sketchy character, in the Warhol tradition. His version is suspect. The Swedish museum part is real.

“Andy Warhol’s first European museum solo show took place at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm from February through March 1968. Pontus Hultén curated the exhibition together with Olle Granath. The exhibition came with a catalogue that was, like the show, named ‘Andy Warhol’. Kasper König, who worked for the Moderna Museet as an intern of sorts in New York, developed a basic concept for the book. … After Warhol had given his approval to this first proposal, König proceeded to create a dummy. … When König returned his dummy to the Factory, Warhol scrutinized it carefully but made only a small number of changes. Contrary to what Warhol wanted to be popular belief, those who produced input at the Factory were carefully monitored. … The final edits on the dummy were made in Stockholm by Olle Granath. He compiled a small selection of Warhol quotes and aphorisms from a stack of books and clippings collected by Hultén and placed them in the book as an introduction before the image sections.”

“Sometime in the autumn of 1967, Pontus Hultén called and asked me if I (Olle Granath) could help him and the Moderna Museet to organize an Andy Warhol exhibition that was due to open in February…. An important part of the exhibition was the production of a book. It was not supposed to be an analytical catalog of Warhol’s work, but a book that conveyed his aesthetics without heavy texts. … One day, Pontus brought me a box, almost the size of a Brillo box, and told me that it contained everything written by and about Andy Warhol (today the equivalent would probably be two truck loads). My job was to read it all and present a proposal for a manuscript with Swedish translations. After a couple of nights of reading and taking notes I delivered a script to Pontus and awaited his reaction with great anticipation. ‘Excellent,’ Pontus said when he called me, ‘but there is a quotation missing.’ ‘Which one?’ I said. ‘In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes,’ Pontus replied. ‘If it is in the material I would have spotted it,’ I told him. The line went quiet for a moment, and then I heard Pontus say, ‘If he didn’t say it, he could very well have said it. Let’s put it in.’ So we did, and thus Warhol’s perhaps most famous quotation became a fact.”

“The exhibition in Stockholm attracted a relatively small number of visitors, due to the extremely cold winter, but also to the fact that leftist radicalization increasingly drove the Museets public to mistrust anything American or consumerist. There was no space yet for a more complex reading of Warhol’s relation to consumption. The book, however, became very popular: its enormous edition allowed it to be distributed in nightclubs and record stores, not only museums. A timeless update on the latest from New York, it first became a cult object, then a collectors item.”

Did Andy say that? Probably, but not definitely. Andy was shot by Valerie Jean Solanas on June 3, 1968, a few months after the show in Sweden. Andy survived, and had fifteen more minutes. Pictures today are from Pictures are from The Library of Congress. The 1927 pictures were taken at “California Beauty Week, Mark Hopkins Hotel, July 28 to Aug. 2, auspices of San Francisco Chronicle.”

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One Response

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  1. Fifteen Minutes | Chamblee54 said, on February 18, 2020 at 9:38 pm

    […] wonder if Drella really said that. If you can’t be cynical about Andy Warhol… This is a repost. Wikipedia is a good place to start. “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 […]


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