UPDATED: Andy Warhol Museum exhibits SCOTUS-linked “Prince Series” paintings

None of the museum's four Prince portraits have been on display in Pittsburgh since at least 2016.

Prince illustration based on Lynn Goldsmith photograph as it appeared in Vanity Fair in 2016, reproduced in court documents.

On the heels of a recent Supreme Court copyright decision, Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum will exhibit all four of the “Prince Series” paintings from its collection later this month. (UPDATE: as of July 1, 2023, the paintings are on display at the museum).

Regarding the case of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. v. Goldsmith, the Supreme Court upheld, that the NY-based Foundation, which owns the copyrights to Warhol’s paintings, should have consulted celebrity photographer Lynn Goldsmith when licensing a 1984 piece derived from her photo of Prince to Condé Nast for the cover of a 2016 issue of Vanity Fair, shortly after the musician’s death.

The painting at the center of the lawsuit, Orange Prince, owned by a private British owner, was one of 16 silkscreens and drawings now known as the “Prince Series.” The Warhol Museum owns four of them.

“[The SCOTUS ruling] doesn’t affect our ability in any way to display the work, to loan the work, to do anything,” Patrick Moore, director of the Andy Warhol Museum. The ruling touched upon one single commercial licensing, Moore said, and had nothing to do with the authenticity of the artwork itself.

And so the museum’s Prince Series will be on display later this month.

“We do consider things that are in the news when we consider what we’re showing from the permanent collection,” said Moore. “We very rarely in the past showed our two portraits of Trump Tower. And because there was so much public interest in Donald Trump, both positive and negative, we’ve shown those paintings a lot.”

Announced in 1989 and opened in 1994, The Andy Warhol Museum, one of four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, sprang from the Carnegie Institute, Dia Art Foundation, and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

The museum’s four Prince Series portraits are part of its founding collection, a contribution from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

As of press time, the Warhol Museum had not determined when in June the paintings will be on display.

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He is a 2x 2023 Western PA Press Club Golden Quill award winner, in feature and business reporting. And a 3x finalist in the investigative reporting category.

He is a 2018 first prize winner in environmental reporting from the Keystone Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for reporting on lead in Pittsburgh’s drinking water.

In 2022 and 2021, he was awarded a grant from The Gumshoe Group to support his investigative reporting.