Before there was Instagram, there was the Polaroid. Beloved by amateurs photographers and professionals alike, the rich history of the 50-year-old camera is now front and center at The Polaroid Museum's exhibition of Andy Warhol's famous snaps. "Capturing Celebrity" presents 50 of the icon's most famous images of celebrities taken between 1970 and 1987, including John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Mick Jagger, Debbie Harry, Muhammad Ali, and Giorgio Armani.
Also on display are two of Warhol's personal Polaroid cameras, as well as one of only five 20x24 Polaroid cameras remaining in existence. Warhol was among the select few to gain access to the notorious six-foot-tall camera when they were first introduced in the '70s. His famous 1980 self-portrait, in which he holds his 20x24 portrait and the camera in the background will also be on view.
After you walk through the Warhol exhibition, be sure to check out the work of commercial photographer Tim Mantoani at the museum in "Behind Photographs." For this personal project, Mantoani used a 20x24 Polaroid to photograph over 150 acclaimed photographers holding their best-known photo: Bob Gruen holding his famous photo of John Lennon wearing sunglasses in New York City, Douglas Kirkland and his portrait of Marilyn Monroe wrapped only in a sheet (below), and Neil Leifer with his iconic image of Muhammad Ali standing victoriously over Sonny Liston in the 1965 fight that went down in history.
The museum will open its doors on April 17 on the second floor of the new Las Vegas Polaroid Fotobar, the company's retail venture with a mission to bring photo printing back into the mainstream.
• • •