Andy Warhol - Time Regained

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20140911

Lenny Henry unveils the mysterious contents of Andy Warhol's Time Capsules.

Lenny Henry travels to Pittsburgh, USA, home town of bad-boy Pop Artist Andy Warhol, to get to the bottom of a mystery, inside a box...

At the city's lavish Warhol Museum, Lenny meets the men and women sifting through the contents of 610 so-called Time Capsules, an artwork - as Warhol considered it - consisting of 300,000 strange and eclectic objects that the artist assembled across the last 13 years of his life, up to his death in 1987.

And Lenny joins an audience of devoted Andy Warhol fans and art-historians as the Museum's conservation team unwrap - for the first time ever - the contents of the penultimate unopened Capsule, a cardboard box sealed by the artist 30 years ago in 1984... What will Capsule 528 contain? So far, in their previous unwrappings, the archivists have discovered original Warhol paintings, photographs, prints and memorabilia of almost unimaginable variety, not to mention packets of chocolate and sweets, toenail clippings, a cement block - even thousands of used postage stamps...

Along the way, Lenny Henry also gets to meet one of the artist's closest associates, his assistant Benjamin Liu, as well as the man for whom he was always 'Uncle Andy', Warhol's nephew, Donald.

Warhol embarked on his Time Capsule project in 1974, some years after the heyday of his legendary Factory when he was adding controversial film-making to his revolutionary multi-image picture making featuring Campbell's soup tins and such icons as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and Jackie Onassis. Throughout, Warhol remained a laconic and mysterious communicator, responding to interviewers with strange and enigmatic non-answers. When asked whether he was happy to see his pictures on people's walls, Andy replied "oh, no. I like them in closets".

Producer: Simon Elmes.