Top Menu

Warhol & Mapplethorpe: Guise & Dolls


Warhol & Mapplethorpe: Guise & Dolls
October 17, 2015–January 24, 2016

As far as I’m concerned, being any gender is a drag.  –Patti Smith

Focusing on New York in the 1970s and early 80s, Warhol & Mapplethorpe: Guise & Dolls will explore the vibrant and tumultuous era of change through the work of Andy Warhol and Robert Mapplethorpe, both of whom created significant bodies of work in self-portraiture, in which particular disguises, characters and ambiguous personalities are evoked. The first dual museum exhibition to feature these two visionary artists, Guise & Dolls will include the artists’ portraits of each other, self-portraits and a selection of iconic portraits of sitters that address role-playing and gender roles–masculinity, femininity and androgyny.

Guise & Dolls will focus on several prominent bodies of work from each artist’s oeuvre: Warhol’s “Ladies and Gentlemen” series (1975) of drag queen portraits, Christopher Makos’s “Altered Images” series of Warhol in drag, Mapplethorpe’s photographs of lifelong friend and longtime muse Patti Smith that range from masculine to feminine and Mapplethorpe’s photographic series and book Lady: Lisa Lyon (1983) of the female bodybuilding champion in numerous gender-bending guises. Androgynous and cross-dressing subjects, including Bob Colacello, Candy Darling and Grace Jones will supplement the series. The exhibition will showcase approximately 100 works of art including paintings, photographs, Polaroids, prints and video.

Warhol and Mapplethorpe are embedded in the Wadsworth’s history. They have both been subjects of the museum’s MATRIX solo exhibition series: Andy Warhol / MATRIX 50 (1979) featured the Still Life (Hammer and Sickle) paintings of 1976 and Robert Mapplethorpe / MATRIX 80 (1984)—curated by former Wadsworth curator and Mapplethorpe’s lover Sam Wagstaff—presented 20 gelatin silver prints and photogravures of “Flowers” (1983). The Wadsworth also participated in the much publicized and controversial touring exhibition, Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Moment (1989). In 1999, the museum organized the exhibition, About Face: Andy Warhol Portraits, which traveled to the Miami Art Museum in 2000.

Patricia Hickson, Emily Hall Tremaine Curator of Contemporary Art, is organizing the exhibition.

A fully illustrated catalogue, including essays by a variety of scholars, curators and artists, accompanies the exhibition. The catalogue is the first scholarly in-depth analysis relating these two important artists and gender politics. Purchase for just $35 from The Museum Shop now.

Mobile Tour
Listen to the Mobile Tour on your smartphone in the galleries, or on your other devices at home.

Docent Tours
Saturdays & Sundays at 2:30 pm
October 17 – January 24

Related Programming
October 29 | Gallery Talk: Guise & Dolls
October 29 | Superstar: The Life and Times of Andy Warhol
November 1 | Superstar: The Life and Times of Andy Warhol
November 4 | Conversation: Working with Andy Warhol
November 5 | First Thursday: Studio 54
November 12 | Black White + Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff + Robert Mapplethorpe
November 15 | Black White + Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff + Robert Mapplethorpe
November 21 | Let the Record Show
November 22 | Let the Record Show
December 18 | Member Morning: Warhol & Mapplethorpe
January 14 | Mapplethorpe’s Pose, Warhol’s Clothes, and the Politics of Nudity
January 16 | Before Stonewall & Stonewall Uprising
January 17 | Before Stonewall & Stonewall Uprising


Boston Globe, Nov. 11, 2015, Andy Warhol and Robert Mapplethorpe Rocked the Boat by Mark Feeney
Crave, Nov. 11, 2015, Exhibit | Warhol & Mapplethorpe: Guise & Dolls by Miss Rosen
Art New England, November 2015, Preview: Warhol & Mapplethorpe: Guise & Dolls by Susan Rand Brown
The Hartford Courant, Oct. 16, Gender-Bending ‘Warhol & Mapplethorpe’ Exhibit At Wadsworth by Susan Dunne
The Independent, Aug. 28, Warhol and Mapplethorpe capture each other by Charlotte Cripps

Exhibition Credit
Generous support for Warhol & Mapplethorpe: Guise & Dolls comes from The Saunders Foundation, The Brant Foundation, Inc., The John Burton Harter Charitable Trust, Larsen Photography Fund, Morris Joseloff Exhibition Fund, The William O. and Carole P. Bailey Exhibition Fund, Howard and Bush Foundation Publication Fund, The Maximilian E.  & Marion O. Hoffman Foundation, Inc., Macy’s, Anonymous, Duff Ashmead and Eric Ort, Emilie and Raul de Brigard, The Cheryl Chase and Stuart Bear Family Foundation, David  and Mary Dangremond, Henry and Sharon Martin, Sotheby’s, Linda Cheverton Wick and Walter Wick, Samuel R. and Martha Peterson, Laura R. Harris, Louis Wiley, Jr., Jay Morton and Mike Phillips, Susan and Joel Rottner, The Lyman B. Brainerd Family Foundation Fund, Lee. G. Kuckro, Tim’s Used Books—Provincetown, Sharon W. and Robert H. Smith, Jr., and John Rimscha. Additional support comes from Jeffrey G. Marsted and Marcia Reid Marsted and the Contemporary Coalition of the Wadsworth Atheneum.

Saunders Foundation logo    JBHCT Logo BW_large    macys_on_white_se_20707    GHAC_HORZlogo_CMYK


ABOVE LEFT: Andy Warhol (1928‒1987), Robert Mapplethorpe, 1983, screenprint on Lenox museum board, 40 1/8 x 40 ½ inches, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art; Contemporary Art Purchase Fund, 1998.16.1. © 2014 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

ABOVE RIGHT: Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol, 1986. Gelatin silver print. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.