Palmer Museum of Art presents 'Big Shot Shuffle' by Andy Warhol

August 27, 2009

University Park, Pa. -- The Palmer Museum of Art has announced the exhibition, "Big Shot Shuffle: Photographs by Andy Warhol," which highlights a selection of Polaroids and gelatin silver prints by pop artist Andy Warhol recently given to the Palmer by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The photographs provide an intimate glimpse of the artist’s creative process as well as the friends and colleagues who populated his world in the last decade of his life. "Big Shot Shuffle" has been on display at the Palmer Museum of Art since Aug. 18, and will remain through Jan. 24, 2010.

During the early 1970s, the Polaroid Corporation briefly manufactured the Big Shot, a camera specifically intended for close-up portraits. The Big Shot’s fixed focal length forced users to “shuffle” back and forth until the desired focus was achieved. Although the camera failed to gain widespread popularity, Warhol was an early enthusiast of the somewhat unwieldy apparatus, in part because of its ability to produce images with nearly standardized compositions and lighting, which made them useful as sources for larger silkscreened portraits.

Big Shot Shuffle includes examples of Warhol’s “Big Shots” ranging from international celebrities -- Wayne Gretzky, Chris Evert, Princess Caroline of Monaco -- to fellow artists, friends, and wealthy patrons, many of whom apparently never received their 15 minutes of fame. Together the photographs provide insight into the artist’s creative method and offer candid views of his environment as he shuffled between social events, studio sessions, and leisure activities.

Emily Schiller, graduate student in art history and co-curator of the exhibition, will give gallery talks in the exhibition at 12:10 p.m. on Sept. 11 and Nov. 20.

At 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 1, Thomas Sokolowski, director of the Andy Warhol Museum, will discuss the various ways Warhol utilized the mode of disguise in his art and life, taking into consideration elements of drag, propaganda and disappearance as central themes in the artist’s work. A reception for Penn State students will follow the lecture from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. This "Welcome a la Warhol" student party will feature refreshments, factory-inspired activities and plenty of Polaroids in the exhibition.

Peter Oresick, Pittsburgh poet and author of "Warhol-O-Rama," a book of Warhol-inspired poems released on what would have been the artist’s 80th birthday, will be giving a poetry reading at 12:10 p.m. on Oct. 7.

All lectures and films are held in the Lipcon Auditorium and all gallery talks begin in the Christoffers Lobby. The Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State is located on Curtin Road and admission is free. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The museum is closed on Mondays and some holidays.

For more information or to request images, please contact Jennifer Cozad, coordinator of membership and public relations, at 814-863-9182 or

  • Chris Evert, 1977, Polacolor Type 108 photograph, 4 1/4 inches by 3 3/8 inches, by Andy Warhol. Gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Collection of the Palmer Museum of Art.

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010