Photo Revolution:
Andy Warhol to Cindy Sherman

November 16, 2019 – February 16, 2020

Andy Warhol, Mao Tse-Tung, 1972, color screenprint
Andy Warhol, Mao Tse-Tung, 1972, color screenprint, National Endowment for the Arts Museum Purchase Plan, 1977.91.
© 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Photo Revolution: Andy Warhol to Cindy Sherman explores the symbiotic relationship that developed between photography and contemporary art at the end of the twentieth century. Beginning in the 1960s, photography rose to unprecedented prominence in contemporary art. As new movements like Pop Art found inspiration in consumer culture, commercial photography and photo-based design moved from the pages of advertising circulars to gallery walls. Artists like Andy Warhol and Tom Wesselmann incorporated photographic material into their work and emulated aspects of the medium in their compositions. Likewise, photographers of the 1960s experimented with color, collage, and vernacular materials—just like their Pop Art counterparts.

By the end of the 1960s, many contemporary artists relied on photography to document their performances and reconsider the possibility of artwork existing outside the confines of the museum. Photo-based media—television, video, and film—became central to the exploration of ideas raised in the work of Peter Campus, Chris Burden, John Baldessari, and Dara Birnbaum. By the 1980s, a politically active generation of artists—including Nan Goldin, Leon Golub, and Cindy Sherman—dominated contemporary art production, relying heavily, if not exclusively, on photography to probe questions of identity. Organized primarily from the Worcester Art Museum's permanent collection, Photo Revolution: Andy Warhol to Cindy Sherman assesses the trajectory of contemporary art through a comparison of traditional media, such as painting, prints, and sculpture, with photography and emerging photo-based art.

Press Release

This exhibition is presented with support from the Lunder Foundation — Peter and Paula Lunder family, Catherine M. Colinvaux, and the Schwartz Charitable Foundation. Additional support is provided by the John M. Nelson Fund, Don and Mary Melville Contemporary Art Fund, Hall and Kate Peterson Fund, Heald Curatorial Fund, and the Ruth and John Adam, Jr. Exhibition Fund.

The exhibition is sponsored by Fallon Health and Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers.

Fallon Community Health PlanSkinner Auctioneers logo

Media Partners: Artscope and WBUR.

Artscope logo WBUR logo

Related Programs

Opening Party: A Night at the Factory

Friday, November 15, 7-11pm
Hike up your miniskirt, rejoice in polyester, and show off your legwarmers! Come in your best period attire to celebrate WAM's newest exhibition tracing iconic artists from the 1960s, '70s, and '80s. DJ and dancing, hors d'oeuvres, and cash bar. Please use Salisbury Street entrance.

Buy Tickets on Eventbrite

Tickets: Members $15, Nonmembers $25, Students $15*
Purchase tickets online at or at the door.
*valid school ID required; limit one ticket per student.

Exclusive Previews (Members, donors and lenders only)
5-7pm Salisbury Society, donors and lenders: Private exhibition viewing and reception. Complimentary admission.
6-7pm Members only: Exhibition Preview Hour.

Opening Party Media Partners:

XLO logo The Pike logo Nash Icon logo

Master Series Third Thursday

Thursday, November 21, 6pm
Speaker: Diana Tuite, Katz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Colby College Museum of Art.
Art Talk: Paraphotography: Doing Things with Images

Presented with support from the Michie Family Curatorial Fund, the Amelia and Robert H. Haley Memorial Lecture Fund, the Bernard and Louise Palitz Fund, and the Spear Fund for Public Programs.

Master Series is sponsored by:   Abbvie logo


Worcester Living Magazine
Worcester Art Museum's ‘Photo Revolution’ examines photography's impact and influence on contemporary art
By Nancy Sheehan, September 26, 2019

Selected Images

Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #7, 1978, gelatin silver print Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #7, 1978, gelatin silver print, Charlotte E.W. Buffington Fund, 1995.65. Image courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York
Tom Wesselmann, Great American Nude #36, 1962, enamel and polymer paint and collage on composition boardTom Wesselmann, Great American Nude #36, 1962, enamel and polymer paint and collage on composition board, Museum Purchase, 1965.393. © 2019 Estate of Tom Wesselmann / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY.
Robert Heinecken, Are You Rea, 1964 – 1968, offset lithograph on white wove paper Robert Heinecken, Untitled (Are You Rea), 1964 – 1968, offset lithograph on white wove paper, National Endowment for the Arts Museum Purchase Plan, 1975.12. Photo © Estate of Robert Heineken, courtesy of Cherry and Martin Gallery.


55 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609
(+1) 508-799-4406


Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-4pm
Third Thursdays until 8pm
For closing days and Shop, Café, and Library hours, see our Hours and Admission page.

WAM member sticker


When you become a Member of the Worcester Art Museum, you join a group of interesting and inquisitive people enjoying a number of great benefits.

Browse Membership levels, benefits and discounts