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Current Collection In Focus Tally Brown

March 8–October 4, 2021

Black and white portrait photograph of Tally Brown with eyes closed, head turned to the viewer's left

Unknown, Tally Brown, 1950s
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Gift of Timothy and Karin Greenfield-Sanders
2014.30.42

Tally Brown was a magnetic and flamboyant performer, a classically trained vocalist and actress who became a Warhol Superstar. On her first visit to Warhol’s Silver Factory, she fell asleep on the artist’s famous curvy couch during the filming of Batman Dracula (1964) and awoke to find the camera pointed at her. Warhol was an avid collector of people as well as objects; he gravitated towards unique and unusual talents, not just traditional beauties. He dubbed these charismatic characters “Superstars”—a nod to the Hollywood studio system—and featured them prominently in his films. Brown’s talent and powerful stage presence made her a natural fit for Warhol’s circle, and she went on to appear in several of his movies.

Born in Brooklyn, Brown trained as an operatic singer before gravitating towards jazz and life as a cabaret singer and an actress in musical theater. While she only released one album, A Torch for Tally (1958), she is remembered for her haunting live performances and lifelong commitment to civil rights.

Tally Brown is organized by Geralyn Huxley, former curator of film and video.