Rare Andy Warhol Polaroid of Diana Ross to Hit Auction Block

By Andrea Swalec on October 23, 2012 2:05pm | Updated on October 25, 2012 1:10pm

 The rare Andy Warhol Polaroid 'Diana Ross' will be up for auction at the Children's Museum of the Arts' annual Art Auction Oct. 23, 2012.
The rare Andy Warhol Polaroid 'Diana Ross' will be up for auction at the Children's Museum of the Arts' annual Art Auction Oct. 23, 2012.
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© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

MANHATTAN — One of legendary New York artist Andy Warhol's iconic Polaroids of celebrities will go up for auction Tuesday night to benefit a Hudson Square museum.

Warhol's 1981 portrait of soul siren Diana Ross will hit the auction block at the Children's Museum of the Arts' annual Art Auction in Chelsea, museum staff said Tuesday.

The shot of a young Ross looking over her shoulder was offered by an anonymous donor, who had its value appraised at $16,000, according to CMA acting director Lucy Ofiesh.

She said the Polaroid offers a "raw, authentic image of a celebrity" and a glimpse at part of New York history.

"[The Polaroids] represent something that's so iconic about New York," Ofiesh said. "It feels like a very authentic, Downtown New York moment."

Bidding for the photo, which is embossed with Warhol's name, will open at $8,000.

In previous years, the CMA has auctioned Warhol Polaroids of Farrah Fawcett, Yves Saint Laurent, Debbie Harry and Dennis Hopper, Ofiesh said.

According to the website of the Danziger Gallery on West 23rd Street, which exhibited some of the Warhol Polaroids this spring, the artist used the shots both as a precursor to screenprinted portraits and as works of art in themselves.

The Diana Ross Polaroid is one of 80 pieces of art up for auction at the event, which will be co-chaired by the actor Ethan Hawke. Works by Yoko Ono, Cecily Brown and Robert Longo are among the offerings.

Proceeds from the gala, which raised $330,000 last year, will benefit the CMA's art outreach programs that visit schools, hospitals and temporary housing facilities in all five boroughs.

The Children's Museum of the Arts' Art Auction begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the Dream Downtown at 355 W. 16th St. Tickets, which start at $150 each, are available online until 3 p.m. Tuesday and at the door after then. Staff members can administer absentee bids if someone wishes to bid but cannot attend the event, Ofiesh said.

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