Andy Warhol frequently selected glamorous women — Liz Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis — as his muses. He was known to give his attention to people who were socially prominent, especially in and around the art world. Yet there was one muse who had a style like no other: Jane Holzer, a privileged blond with a pout to die for.
"To Jane, Love Andy: Warhol's First Superstar" opened Saturday, February 2, at the Norton Museum of Art. This multimedia show is a love letter of sorts that examines the relationship between Warhol and Holzer, AKA "Baby Jane."
The exhibition comprises more than 100 objects, including works by Warhol — one of his graphically strong Flowers paintings and a sculpture of Brillo soap pads among them — as well as letters to the pop art star and materials from his Time Capsules.
"To Jane, Love Andy: Warhol's First Superstar"
"To Jane, Love Andy: Warhol's First Superstar," through May 25 at the Norton Museum of Art, 1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach. Visit norton.org, or call 561-832-5196. Admission is $12 for adults, $5 for students, and free for children 12 and younger.
"A 1965 BBC interview with Andy Warhol, in black-and-white and filmed in the Factory, will screen," says Cheryl Brutvan, director of curatorial affairs. "Seeing this interview, guests will have this encounter with Warhol and get a sense of what the Factory was like, which Jane Holzer was a part of. They were really good, lifelong friends."
Brutvan curated this show. "There hasn't been a big Andy Warhol show in Florida as I can see, and Jane is a Palm Beach native." Jane grew up in a wealthy real-estate family and modeled for Vogue and other magazines; she was famous by age 24. The "Baby Jane" nickname was bestowed by a Women's Wear Daily columnist in 1962.
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Holzer worked with Warhol at his studio, the Factory, just as the artist was focused on film production. She participated in The Kiss (1963-64), Soap Opera (1964), Batman and Dracula (1964), and eight Screen Tests — two-and-a-half-minute films that Warhol shot featuring Factory regulars. Screen Tests were an integral part of Warhol's career and were an extension of his portraiture work. They showcased his love of portraying people.
"Warhol benefited from [Holzer's] 'it'-girl status and social connections," Brutvan wrote in press materials. "Holzer, in turn, benefited from Warhol's filmmaking, which fulfilled her early ambition to be in movies." In 1964, writer Tom Wolfe profiled Holzer in his essay "The Girl of the Year," a reaction to the crazed attention surrounding her.
The exhibit at Norton includes photos from Holzer's modeling career, fashions she wore in the '60s and '70s, and Screen Tests of her as well as of Lou Reed, Nico, and Dennis Hopper. A "screen test room" offers an interactive component that allows attendees to make their own three-minute films.
In 1985, Holzer helped produce the film Kiss of the Spider Woman. Today, she divides her time between New York City and Palm Beach. She works in real estate and is also an art collector and art adviser.