Director Ron Crusan’s re-imagining of the Ogunquit Museum of American Art continues with the summer exhibition season.
The museum, situated on Perkins Cove with one of the best ocean views in all of Maine, is showing Andy Warhol prints and a collection of behind-the-scene celebrity photographs taken by his close associate, Pat Hackett.
While the artistic merit of “Andy Warhol: American Icon” lies in the prints — which are on view in the museum’s main gallery and include such iconic images as “Marilyn,” “Campbell’s Soup” and “Jackie” — the most fun can be found in gawking at the 60 or so celebrity photographs in the show.
There’s Warhol with Mick Jagger. Here he is with Jamie Wyeth. And isn’t that Andy with a very young Jack Nicholson?
Hackett shot the photos to chronicle the artist’s celebrity life, and they have never been combined with his artwork, Crusan said.
“I think the Warhol exhibition will raise the profile of the museum,” said Crusan. “We’re an American art museum, and these are the kinds of things we should be showing in addition to the art that we are known for showing.”
The museum is best-known for its collection of paintings by artists associated with Maine and the Ogunquit art colony.
There are plenty of those on view this summer as well, including 60 paintings from the permanent collection, marking the museum’s 60 years of operation. Those are hung in the newly refurbished Barn Gallery, which now has new floors and walls, and looks much brighter and more appealing.
The Warhol prints were gathered from private collections, and the photos came from Hackett herself. Most were printed for this exhibition, which was curated by Ogunquit resident Peter Kelly. Both attended a gala opening at the museum a few weeks ago.
In addition to simply being fun to look at and talk about, the Warhol prints and photos also ask viewers to think about the role of celebrity in American life and the fleeting “15 of minutes of fame” that Warhol spoke about, Crusan said.
“Andy Warhol: American Icon” is on view through Sept. 1.
Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or: