The Athletes

Warhol: The Athletes is a series of ten portraits of famous athletes commissioned by Andy Warhol’s friend and collector Richard Weisman. The legendary artist, Andy Warhol, started by creating Polaroid portraits that he shot in his Manhattan studio or in the athletes’ homes. Using his signature screen-printing technique, Warhol printed the photos on canvas and embellished each of the 40-by-40-inch portraits with acrylic paint. His subjects, all painted in 1978, include NBA all-time scoring leader Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, golfing great Jack Nicklaus, figure-skating Olympic gold medalist Dorothy Hamill, boxing icon Muhammad Ali, and the infamous O. J. Simpson.

Though Warhol was more comfortable with rock stars and members of the fashion world, working with athletes provided an interesting and exciting departure for the artist, especially when one considers their position in the history of American celebrity. In Warhol’s own words, “the sports stars of today are the movie stars of yesterday.” Viewed in this light, Warhol: The Athletes represents a pivotal episode in Warhol’s astonishing and incisive career. It is also prophetic of the much deeper interactions that would occur between the arts and sports worlds in the decades to follow. As with so much in our current contemporary arts environment, it all goes back to Warhol.

Warhol: The Athletes has been organized by the Oklahoma City Museum of Art from the collection of Richard L. Weisman.

Programming and Events


Warhol: The Athletes

Refreshments | Cash Bar | Live Music on the Roof Terrace

Thursday, April 16, 2015
5-11 p.m.

Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive

Free for OKCMOA Members | $5 for Non-Members

No reservations necessary.

  • 5 p.m. | Exhibition and bar opens
  • 6 p.m. | A Talk with Warhol Collector Richard L. Weisman | Samuel Roberts Noble Theater
  • 7:30 p.m. | Andy Warhol Screen Tests* featuring Salvador Dali, Bob Dylan, Dennis Hopper, Nico, and Factory icon Edie Sedgwick | Samuel Roberts Noble Theater
  • 9 p.m. | Galleries Close
  • 11 p.m. | Roof Terrace Closes

*Complimentary admission for Members, or with purchase of exhibition preview ticket. Limited seating available. Must show exhibition ticket for entry.

Call (405) 236-3100 or email info@okcmoa.com for more information. The Museum Cafe will be open during the preview. Call (405) 235-6262 for reservations.

Join a Teaching Artist to create an extraordinary work of art inspired by Warhol: The Athletes. All ages welcome.
Saturday, April 18, 1–4 p.m. , Mixed Media Pop Art Prints
Free with admission

A Teaching Artist provides basic instruction and materials during this come-and-go drawing session. All ages welcome.
Saturday, May 2, 2–4 p.m.
Free with admission

Free Family Day: Art Investigations
Sunday, May 3, 2015, 12-5 p.m.

Art After 5: Opera Performance
Arias from the opera Ascription, composed by Eric Lindsay
Thursday, May 7, 7 p.m.

Designed for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and their caregivers or loved ones
Monday, June 8, 10:30 – 12 p.m. and 2 – 3:30 p.m.


Thursday, July 9, 6 – 9 p.m.

Free for OKCMOA Members | $5 for Non-Members


*Pre-registration required
-Adult class: Screenprinting — Saturday, April 25, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

-Family Workshop, Ages 15-36 months with adult, Andy Warhol Pop Art Hand Prints — Saturday, May 16, 10 – 10:45 a.m.

-Family Workshop, Ages 3-5 with adult, Andy Warhol Pop Art Hand Prints — Saturday, May 16, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

-Family Workshop, Ages 6-10 with adult, Look + Create: Andy Warhol and Pop Art — Saturday, May 16, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

-Homeschool Workshop, Ages 6 and up with adult, Andy Warhol and Pop Art — Tuesday, April 28, 2 – 4 p.m.

-Youth Class, Ages 9-12, Half Day Workshop: Printmaking Mania — Saturday, June 27, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

-Youth Summer Camp, Ages 4-5, Pop Art Creations – June 16-19

-Youth Summer Camp, Ages 6-8, Wearable Pop Art — July 7-10

-Youth Summer Camp, Ages 9-12, Pop Art Exploration — June 16-19

Group Tours, Reservations required

Warhol: The Athletes has been organized by the Oklahoma City Museum of Art from the collection of Richard L. Weisman.