Newport Art Museum debuts "Private Moments: Photographs from Another Era by Bob Colacello"
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Newport Art Museum debuts "Private Moments: Photographs from Another Era by Bob Colacello"
Bob Colacello, Diana Vreeland and Countess Consuelo, Crespi, New York, 1978, Gelatin silver print, 32 x 45 x 2 inches framed, Edition 1 of 3 + AP, © Bob Colacello; Courtesy the artist and Vito Schnabel Projects.

NEWPORT, RI.- The Newport Art Museum is presenting “Private Moments: Photographs from Another Era by Bob Colacello,” a selection of rarely seen images taken in the 1970s and 1980s while he was living in New York City and editing artist Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine. Colacello is a writer, photographer, and longtime friend and biographer of Andy Warhol.

Colacello would frequently accompany Warhol to dinner parties, clubs, and art openings in New York City and cultural capitals around the world. As he famously said, “I never had to social climb, I got dropped on Mount Olympus from Andy’s helicopter!”

Whether Colacello was at Studio 54, Valentino’s chalet in Gstaad, or Jimmy Carter’s presidential inauguration, he brought along his Minox 35 EL, a camera small enough to conceal in his coat jacket pocket.

The Newport exhibition includes twenty four gelatin silver prints featuring tycoons, socialites, fashion icons, writers, musicians, movie stars, and other late night revelers. Even though these images capture a moment frozen in time, they are not completely still. The photographs document characters moving through the frame rather than posing for a portrait. You can feel the energy in the room and sense the size of the personalities. One can almost hear former Vogue magazine editor-in-chief Diana Vreeland, with a grand gesture proclaim, “Style – all who have it share one thing: originality.”

Colacello’s invitation to “join the party” facilitated his participation as well as observation of the scene, which created a fertile environment for his personal portrait of high society when networking happened in person, not online.

Today, these pictures take on newfound significance as they remind us of an era rich with the joys of going out at a time when most of us are just beginning to venture out again after having been encouraged to stay at home.

“Private Moments: Photographs from Another Era by Bob Colacello,” will be on view at the Newport Art Museum through September 27, 2020 and will coincide with an exhibition of Andy Warhol’s photographs.

On September 19, 2020 the Newport Art Museum will open “Andy Warhol: Big Shot,” an exhibition focusing on Warhol’s photographic work. A selection of the artist’s Polaroids will be seen alongside some of the final works of art they inspired. Other unique photographs such as Warhol’s rare stitched photographs and photobooth portraits will also be included. Colacello’s exhibition will coincide with Warhol’s for a few weeks in September.

Colacello was born in New York and grew up on Long Island. He graduated from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown, University and later received his MFA in film criticism from Columbia University Graduate School of Arts, which may have informed the unique cinematic quality of his images.

In the late 1960s he began publishing film reviews in the Village Voice and in 1970 he wrote a review of Andy Warhol’s film Trash, which precipitated an invitation to write for Warhol’s Interview magazine, which he edited for over twelve years. After Interview, Colacello began writing for Vanity Fair magazine and has authored many biographies, including Ronnie and Nancy: their Path to the White House, 1911 – 1980. His memoir of working with Andy Warhol, Holy Terror: Andy Warhol Close Up received wide acclaim. And Bob Colacello’s Out was published by Steidl in 2008.

The Art Association of Newport, now the Newport Art Museum, was founded in 1912 on the belief that art is a civilizing influence and an essential component to creating vibrant communities. Today, the Art Museum’s beautiful 3-acre campus includes the Griswold house, the Cushing Gallery and the Coleman Center for Creative Studies, a vibrant center for Museum Education and extensive community arts outreach initiatives.

The permanent collection includes over 3,000 fine art and archival objects and includes works by Gilbert Stuart, William Trost Richards, Fitz Henry Lane, John Frederick Kensett, Winslow Homer, Lilla Cabot Perry, Howard Gardiner Cushing, John LaFarge, and George Bellows, as well as works by Aaron Siskind, Corita Kent, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Philip Guston, Dale Chihuly, as well as contemporary works by many accomplished regional artists.

Nearly twenty temporary exhibitions are presented annually and over the years have included artists as diverse as J. McNeill Whistler, Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Winslow Homer, Andy Warhol, George Condo, Shara Hughes, and Tony Oursler, to name a few.

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