Polaroid Portraits, Vol. 1, 1972

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Begun in 1968, the Polaroid Portraits project was initiated by American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein, who made a photograph of Hamilton in front of one of his Pop paintings using a Polaroid Instant Camera. Hamilton was fascinated with both the technological aspects and expressive possibilities of instant photography and over the next three decades, invited scores of his artist (and musician) friends to take snapshots of him using a Polaroid camera. The photographs not only captured Hamilton’s changing appearance over nearly thirty years, but also the personalities and distinctive styles of the other artists. Hamilton published 128 of the portraits in limited-edition artist’s books issued in 1972, 1977, 1983, and 2001, respectively.

Volume 1 consists of a single Hamilton self-portrait (age 50) and photographs of Hamilton taken by Francis Bacon, Larry Bell, Bob Benson, Joseph Beuys, George Brecht, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Christo, Bill Copley, Robert Creeley, Jim Dine, Rita Donagh, Barry Flanagan, Gilbert and George, David Hockney, Robert Irwin, Jasper Johns, William Katz, R.B. Kitaj, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Morris, N.E. Thing Co., Ltd., Claes Oldenburg, Brigid Polk, Man Ray, Jim Rosenquist, Dieter Roth, Joe Tilson, Jean Tinguely, Wolf Vostel, Andy Warhol, Emmett Williams, and La Monte Young.

Polaroid Portraits, Vol. 1
Artist Life
6-1/2 x 4-7/8 in.
Accession Number
William P. Kosmas, London, England (d. 2017); Estate of William P. Kosmas, Minneapolis; given to MIA, 2018.
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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