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Warhol Kennedy Residence : William John Kennedy’s ‘Lost Archive’ – Photographs of Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana


A Central London residence entirely dedicated to exhibiting the forgotten photographic archive of 1960s photographer William John Kennedy (b.1930 – d.2021), who documented bohemian New York life and many of its most fascinating characters opens to visit from April 2nd.

Based in the heart of London, the Warhol Kennedy Residence is home to a largely unseen archive documenting two true giants of late 20th Century art, the genuinely iconic Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana.

Shot by the late William John Kennedy in the early 60s, these images, which were lost to the world for nearly 40 years, capture the two men in the nascent stages of careers that would come to redefine the landscape of contemporary art. The Warhol Kennedy Residence is the only place that one can experience the collection in its entirety and purchase editions of these utterly unique images.

William John Kennedy’s most intriguing body of work was rediscovered in the mid noughties when he and his wife found a set of negatives and transparencies that he had taken of artists Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana from 1963-1964, a crucial moment in their respective careers. Nestled away just moments from The Strand, The Warhol Kennedy Residence houses this fascinating photography collection.

The collaboration began in 1963 when William John Kennedy met Indiana at a New York art opening and Kennedy shortly began taking photographs of him in his Coenties Slip studio. They became friends and Indiana then introduced Kennedy to Warhol at the Americans exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in May of 1963. Kennedy was subsequently invited to the Factory and went on to photograph Warhol and many of his circle including Gerard Malanga, Ultra Violet and Taylor Mead.

“Eventually Robert introduced us to Andy Warhol, who asked Bill to the Factory. Andy, of course, was this strange bird. When I was in his company, he was very shy, you had to draw him out. But he was much more relaxed with Bill. Bill came up with all these ideas for pictures – getting Andy to wear paintings like sandwich boards or pose behind the acetate for his Marilyn Monroe screen prints – and Andy always went along with him.” – Marie Kennedy, The Guardian

Kennedy’s archive has been the subject of a coffee table book William John Kennedy: The Lost Archive (ACC, 2022) and an acclaimed documentary Full Circle (2010) which includes moving footage of Kennedy reunited with Robert Indiana and surviving Warhol superstars. Now these rare Indiana and Warhol photographs can be viewed in London.

Highlights from the storied archive include Kennedy’s portrait of Robert Indiana with his most famous creation, Love, claimed to be the world’s most reproduced artwork. Kennedy recalled Indiana phoned him out of the blue “He said, ‘Bill, come on down I want to show you something. So I went down to the studio and there he was, holding his Love painting.”

“When I look back on my involvement with the Pop artists, it all came off my initial involvement with Robert Indiana. He was the linchpin” – William John Kennedy


William John Kennedy’s ‘Lost Archive’
Photographs of Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana
Opens in London From 2 April 2024
Appointments are available at The Warhol Kennedy Residence, London WC2.

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