BY NATHAN PAYNE
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — The Dennos Museum received an early Christmas present when a shipping container arrived at its doorstep that contained seven original screen prints created by renowned American artist Andy Warhol.
The prints, now hanging on display at the museum, were a gift from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and represent a significant addition to the local collection, said Eugene Jenneman, the Dennos' executive director.
"This is a special inventory," Jenneman said. "There are many proofs and prints that are made that are never available to the public."
The prints are works Warhol never released to the public and have been kept in storage since they were created. The Dennos was the beneficiary of a donation from Warhol's foundation in 2008 when it gave the museum 150 original Polaroid photos and silver gelatin prints by Warhol.
They are "designated for research and education purposes only."
Jenneman wasn't told what prints the museum would receive, just that a donation was on its way. So when workers cracked open the container, they were pleasantly surprised to find seven iconic prints that dated from 1970 through 1986.
Warhol's works spanned a variety of media, although his most recognized works are screen prints of celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon and Elizabeth Taylor.
The collection on display at the Dennos Museum includes the prints "Speed Skater," "Shoes," "Pete Rose," "Goethe," "Space Fruit: Lemons," "Sitting Bull," and "Flowers."
Warhol died in 1987 from complications after gallbladder surgery, but his artwork continues to grow in popularity. In November, one of the Pop Art icon's silk-screen paintings titled "Silver Car Crash(Double Disaster)" sold at auction for $105.4 million, more than any other piece of Pop Art at the auction facilitated by Sotheby's.
The prints will be on display at the Dennos Museum from now until April 5. The museum is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Thursday until 8 p.m. and Sundays from 1-5 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for children.