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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Saur October 1, 2015

Preserving Artworks Digitally: The Case of Andy Warhol’s Polaroid Photographs

Peter Botticelli


As museum objects are digitized, curators will need to examine closely the potential for digital objects to represent, and possibly distort, the authentic information contained in material objects. This work examines the complex preservation issues facing Polaroid photographs by Andy Warhol, as a case example of a distributed collection of relatively fragile, non-reproducible photographs which have recently been digitized, but with uncertain consequences for how audiences might experience the Polaroids in digital form. With the potential for digital objects to outlast the Polaroids, this work highlights the need for rich documentation to ensure that digital representations might be able to serve as a practicable preservation medium for material objects.


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Published Online: 2015-10-1
Published in Print: 2015-10-1

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