Andy Warhol’s Time Capsules
From the early ’70s until his death in 1987, Warhol created 612 finished Time Capsules.
The large collecting project began in 1974, after relocating his studio; in that occasion, in fact, he realized that cardboard boxes used in the move were an efficient method for dealing with all of his stuff. Warhol selected items from the daily flood of correspondence, magazines, newspapers, gifts, photographs, business records, and material that passed through his hands to put in the open box by his desk. Once the box was full he sealed it with tape, marked it with a date or title, and put it in his archive. Collectively, this material provides a unique view into Warhol’s private world, as well as a broad cultural backdrop illustrating the social and artistic scene during his lifetime.
This is the other side of the artist, the obsessive collector: Warhol constantly scoured auction houses, antique stores, and particularly flea markets for new treasures to add to his many collections. He collected Fiestaware, World’s Fair memorabilia, Art Deco silver, Native American objects, and folk art. He often acquired large collections as well—Hollywood publicity stills, crime scene photographs, and dental molds. All of these activities reflected his interest in Pop Art and his inspiration: consumer culture.