The Warhol Foundation receives a donation of archival documents and a catalog raisonné from the Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has received a major donation of Warhol-related archives from the Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation, a philanthropic organization based in Zürich. The collection, which includes photographs and documents related to the artist’s work, was created in 1977 by the Swiss art dealer Thomas Ammann. Ammann became a longtime friend and patron of Warhol while working at the Bruno Bischofberger gallery in the mid-1970s. Andy Warhol Catalog Raisonné was one of many assembled by Ammann with his sister Doris at his Zurich gallery, Thomas Ammann Fine Art.

“Thomas understood the importance of the catalog raisonné as a critical record of an artist’s work and appreciated its scholarly tradition,” says Neil Printz, the catalog raisonné’s editor, “He also believed that Warhol, like Picasso and Klee for example, deserved the same kind of scholarship.

Amman first seeded the idea of ​​cataloging Warhol’s work at the artist’s height of stardom, helping to cement the pop artist’s status as an iconic social provocateur. A documentarian eager, even obsessive, about his own artistic and personal legacy, the artist acquiesced in his friend’s concept of a scholarly document, giving his approval for its future publication before his death in 1987.

Andy Warhol, Thomas Amman1977 © Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

A friendly relationship between Amman and Warhol developed alongside their professional business: Warhol purchased a Minox 35mm “spy” camera, now synonymous with his legendary social photographs, as he wanted one similar to Ammann’s. Warhol painted Amman in 1978, later taking a Polaroid of him which later became one of his screen-printed portraits.

After the death of her brother in 1993, Doris Ammann decided to pursue her unfinished passion project, collaborating with the Andy Warhol Foundation and Phaidon Press to publish the first two volumes of the reasoned, Paintings and Sculptures 1961-1963 in 2002 and Paintings and Sculptures 1964-1969 in 2004. Since then, the Foundation has sponsored the publication of three more titles with Phaidon. The sixth book Paintings and Sculpture 1978-1980is slated for release in Spring 2023 and will include over 185 commissioned portraits, Shadow paintings and diamond dust paintings, as well as Amman’s Polaroid. “Photographs and property records from the past 50 years may have been lost, but instead have helped to reconstruct the provenance of Warhol’s work,” Printz added.

The Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation made headlines last May when Larry Gagosian acquired Blow Sage Blue Marilyn (1964) for $170 million ($195 million including fees) at a Christie’s sale, making Warhol the most expensive American artist sold at auction. Proceeds from the sale of the Ammans Collection, which brought in a total of $317.8 million (including fees), benefited various organizations that focus on children’s health and education.