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Andy Warhol’s Circa 1780 Pennsylvania “Door to Nowhere” from His Personal Collection- Featured at the American Folk Art Museum-“Funk and Folk” Art ExhibitGo Back
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At the time of his unexpected death, following gall bladder surgery in 1987, Warhol left behind his “possession obsession.” His studio and then his 30 room NY townhouse became “stuffed to the rafters with objects,” says exhibition curator and Warhol archivist John W. Smith.
Warhol began to collect seriously in the mid-1950s. By the early 1970s, collecting had become an obsession with Warhol. His collection not only contained his famous cookie jars and jewelry but more importantly it contained examples of Federal-era furniture, Art Deco furniture and Early New England Colonial artifacts.
One day on his regular rounds of flea markets, auctions, and shops, Andy found this c. 1780 New England Colonial blue doorway and absolutely loved it. After buying it he put it in the middle of his studio, the Factory and said:
“I like the door, because you go in and out and you never get anywhere.”
Warhol never attached it to anything. Andy carefully set the 115″ X 56″ x 21″ door frame in the middle of the room as an object d’art. Certainly, weathered, showing aging, knicks and scuffs, the door has withstood the test of centuries.
This door has such special meaning and was so ecclectic that it was featured on the cover for the special 1977 exhibit at the Museum of American Folk Art in NYC. 85 of Andy’s favorite collectibles were chosen to be adored for two months at this exhibit, from September 20, 1977 to November 19, 1977. Pictured is the original 1977 catalog that was created for Andy Warhol’s “Folk and Funk” Art exhibit. This original catalog will accompany the door. Harry Shunk, photographer, creatively captured Andy peeking through the New England Colonial artpiece, enticing the viewer to “come in.”
It is unquestionable that this is the exact same door that was featured in the museum. At the bottom of the frame on either side of the door in the photo on the front cover, you can see pieces of wood removed from the frame. We can identify these same markings in the photos. In addition, both the cover photo and door, exhibit holes at the top of the frame in the exact locations. You can scan all the markings in the door and match them up exactly to the photo on the cover of the Museum of Folk Art.
His possession obsession gave Warhol his ideas and inspiration for his timeless iconic artwork. Warhol’s pleasure was found in searching out new and undiscovered categories of objects to collect. In Warhol’s words, ‘I was always looking for the five-dollar object that’s really worth millions.” Indeed, a visionary, Warhol, ahead of his time, created his Pop style art from the ordinary everyday item, like this door, and turned it into bonafide art. The New England Colonial Door’s value is beyond the monetary but rather reaches into the artistic realm of creativity, culture and the fine arts.
It has been intimated that Rupert Murdoch and Forbes had much interest in this door and at one point it was to be donated to various museums, however, it never happened but rather has been preciously preserved for well over 20 years.
Andy’s Tomato Soup can sold for record $9+ Million. Anything associated with this man’s life, has not only been extremely collectible, but is a revolutionary part of the Pop Art Culture, American Culture, and Advertisitng History. This may not be Andy’s soup can, but it is his and was his Object D’Art. It was Andy’s journey to nowhere and somewhere at the same time. Owning a piece of Pop Culture with this magnitude will give anyone more than “15 minutes of fame.”