“The Eye of Sam Wagstaff”

The Getty Center

In 1975, Andy Warhol dedicated the entire November issue of Interview to photography, frustrating the easy separation of fandom, glamour, fashion, and sex from the art of photography just when the medium’s new found status seemed secure. This special issue included the first public display of Sam Wagstaff’s celebrated photography collection, or what he called his “vice.” Printed alongside striking reproductions were some of his most discerning remarks on photography, which made clear its weirdly disreputable position up until the ’70s: photography “was a source of pleasure and joy which had been hidden from me, not only by myself, but by my mentors in the museum world, the dealing world and the world of scholarship.” Though Wagstaff had a hand in rewriting photography’s history, in renegotiating its value as a collectible, and lending all aspects of the enterprise cachet, he ultimately

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the April 1997 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.