Andy Warhol films to be digitized by MoMA

Andy Warhol films to be digitized by MoMA
A visitor takes notes in front of the artwork "Self-Portrait" by Andy Warhol at Art Basel in June. (Harold Cunningham / Getty Images)

Andy Warhol shot hundreds of films during his career, but many of these works haven't been available for public viewing after the prolific artist withdrew them from circulation.

In a new partnership announced this week, the Museum of Modern Art in New York said it will digitize about 500 films that Warhol shot between 1963 and 1971, eventually making them available for wider public screenings.

The project — a collaboration among MoMA, the Warhol museum and the visual-effects company MPC — will involve scanning rolls of 16mm film frame by frame to digital high-resolution images. MoMA said the scanning process begins this month and that it will take several years to complete.

Warhol's films include short screen tests as well as lengthy experiments like "The Chelsea Girls," which has a running time of more than three hours.


MoMA said that digitizing the films will "amplify both museums' opportunities in the areas of public programming, lending to other institutions for public screenings, accessibility to scholars, and use in special presentations and performances."

MPC, a Technicolor company, has provided visual-effects services for a wide range of movies including "Life of Pi" and "Prometheus."

The company recently partnered with the Warhol to digitally restore 15 of the artist's movies that will be screened as part of the upcoming season at UCLA's Center for the Art of Performance as well as at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival.

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT