Smithsonian Collections

Michael Jackson

Image for Michael Jackson
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition Label
Born Gary, Indiana
In 1984, when Time magazine commissioned Andy Warhol to transform Michael Jackson into a pop celebrity icon for its cover portrait, the twenty-six-year-old entertainer had already reached an extraordinary level of fame. Jackson had rocketed to success, first with his brothers—the Jackson 5, whose first four singles topped the charts in 1970—and then through solo albums. His 1982 album Thriller won an unprecedented eight Grammy Awards; subsequent hits were commercial and critical successes throughout the world. As a singer, songwriter, dancer, and dynamic performer, he was unparalleled. "Michael Jackson’s songs, steps, and sexy aura," Time claimed, "set a flashy beat for the decade." Although Jackson’s personal life and changing physical appearance over the years created controversy, his influence on performance and vocal styles as well as music videos, dance, and fashion endured until the singer’s 2009 death at the age of fifty.
Andy Warhol, 6 Aug 1928 - 22 Feb 1987
Michael Joseph Jackson, 29 Aug 1958 - 25 Jun 2009
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine
Synthetic polymer and silkscreen on canvas
Sight: 75.6 x 65.4cm (29 3/4 x 25 3/4")
Frame: 80 x 69.9 x 7cm (31 1/2 x 27 1/2 x 2 3/4")
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Object number
Michael Joseph Jackson: Male
Michael Joseph Jackson: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer
Restrictions & Rights
© Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York