Time Capsule 21:
In addition to being a successful artist, Warhol was a successful businessman. After a rather humble childhood, Warhol became possibly the most entrepreneurial artist of his time. His careers in art and illustration were the springboard for a host of satellite businesses: promoting and producing music, hosting shows at nightclubs, writing books, publishing a magazine, endorsing products, producing and directing films, buying real estate, and collecting fine-art objects and antiques. Warhol paid attention to detail and was known for his concern about his financial affairs. The Time Capsules contain records that are invaluable for researchers interested in reconstructing how Warhol’s various enterprises were interconnected and how they impacted his art.
I like money on the wall. Say you were going to buy a $200,000 painting. I think you should take that money, tie it up, and hang it on the wall. Then when someone visited you, the first thing they would see is the money on the wall.
TC21 Object: Andy Warhol, Advertisement (Charles of the Ritz antiperspirant deodorant), 1950s-1960s
Throughout the 1950s and into the early 1960s, Andy Warhol worked as a commercial illustrator, producing ads like this one for deodorant, as well as book jackets, greeting cards, and many other products. As an ambitious and creative young person fresh out of college, Warhol pounded the pavement of Manhattan, drumming up clients and making a name for himself. His whimsical style was admired by women’s magazine editors desperate to feature their products in new ways. Warhol soon realized he would never become rich drawing ads because there was a limit to what editors would pay for each illustration. His solution was to hire assistants, allowing him to accept more work, and increase his income.
TC21 Object: Advertisement (I. Miller, Harper's Bazaar), 1928
Although the I. Miller ad in TC21 is not by Warhol, the fact that he saved it in a Time Capsule indicates its significance to him. In 1955, Andy Warhol received one of the biggest breaks of his commercial career when he landed the I. Miller Shoe account and became the regular illustrator for their ads in the New York Times. These large ads created a buzz in the advertising world for their wit, style, and immediate recognizability. In 1956, Warhol was awarded the most prestigious commercial design award, The Art Directors Club Medal, for one of these shoe illustrations.
TC21 Object: Statement (from This Week Magazine to Andy Warhol, December 2, 1959)
This is a receipt from This Week Magazine to Andy Warhol for $360.50, dated December 2, 1959. Not only was Warhol an award-winning illustrator, he was also a financial success. In 1960, just over 10 years after moving to New York, he earned $70,000. While he had a substantial retainer from I. Miller, Warhol continued to pursue other work illustrating magazines, album covers, cookbooks, and more.
TC21 Object: The Rolling Stones, Sticky Fingers, 1971
Andy Warhol was a fan of the Rolling Stones when they arrived in New York City in the early 1960s. He attended a Stones concert in November 1965 and played their music in his studio, the Silver Factory. Their hit song Satisfaction can be heard playing in the background of audiotaped conversations in the factory. In the 1970s, Warhol became friends with the group, allowing them to use his Montauk home as a retreat and practice space. Warhol collaborated with Craig Braun to design this famous Sticky Fingers album cover in 1971.
Related Artwork: Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger, 1975
Although Warhol admired many of his portrait subjects from afar, it was his personal relationship with Mick Jagger that culminated in his iconic 10-print portfolio of Jagger’s face in 1975. Warhol used a selection of ten of his own photographs that he had taken of Jagger as source material for the silkscreen prints.
Related Object: Display Photograph ("The Velvet Underground and Nico"), 1967
Just like the famous Sticky Fingers album cover, Warhol created in 1971 for The Rolling Stones, he created an equally racy album cover for The Velvet Underground in 1967 depicting a half peeled banana with the directive “Peel Slowly And See”. The Velvet Underground can be seen in this MGM/Verve Records promotional material; left to right: Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison, John Cale, Nico, and Moe Tucker.
Factory Diary: [Yves St. Laurent, Pierre Bergé, Mick Jagger, November 13, 1972]
TC21 Object: Blank postcard (Andy Warhol holding his book a: a novel), ca. 1968
Warhol’s book a: a novel was transcribed from audio recordings that he made beginning in the summer of 1965. Warhol wanted everyone in the book to be given a pseudonym, and he retained all of the mistakes and typos made by the teenaged transcribers. His intent was to publish a record of twenty-four continuous hours in the life of Ondine, a flamboyant actor, who was one of his Superstars, but the tapes were actually made over a period of many months.
Related Object: Andy Warhol, THE Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again), 1975
Warhol almost always worked in collaboration with others to produce written works. THE Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again) is based on tape recordings of Warhol, Brigid Berlin, Fred Hughes, Pat Hackett and Bob Colacello. Other published works of Warhol include: POPism: The Warhol ’60s, Andy Warhol’s Exposures, Andy Warhol’s Party Book, America, and The Andy Warhol Diaries.
TC21 Object: Interview - Vol. 1, no. 1 (1969)
Interview magazine was a business venture started by Warhol in 1969. The original issues were devoted mainly to film, featuring Warhol’s film works, those of other 1960s avant-garde filmmakers, and Hollywood movies of the 1930s and ‘40s. This monthly eventually became a chronicle of the worlds of art, fashion, high society, and film.
Related Object: Interview - Vol. 15, no. 1 (January 1985) cover photograph of Yoko Ono by Albert Watson; cover design by Richard Bernstein
The covers of Interview were a hip equivalent of those found on Life or Vogue. Warhol enlisted Richard Bernstein in 1972 to design the covers. He infused the magazine’s covers with go-go glamour and created an energetic, handwritten Interview logo. Warhol pioneered the concept of the recorded celebrity-on-celebrity interview, creating an intimate conversational style that had rarely been used in journalism.
Related Object: Installation of Andy Warhol's Interview magazine. The Andy Warhol Museum
Interview magazine, nicknamed “The Crystal Ball of Pop”, is still in production today. While the magazine briefly folded in May, 2018, it relaunched in September, 2018 with its 521st issue. The latest issue can be found on the Interview Magazine website.
TC21 Object: Invoice (from Gerald Kornblau Antiques to Andy Warhol, May 17, 1960)
This receipt from an antique store reveals another of Andy Warhol’s enterprises: collecting. It is not difficult to understand how an apothecary chest, a spittoon, and a tin tissue dispenser fit within Warhol’s collection, given that Warhol reportedly shopped every day.
Related Object: Installation shot from Possession Obsession: Objects from Andy Warhol’s Personal Collection. Select Fiestaware objects
Warhol’s daily purchases included all manner of objects – everything from Fiestaware to Art Deco silver, from kitsch cookie jars to American Empire furniture.
Related Object: Installation shot from Possession Obsession: Objects from Andy Warhol’s Personal Collection. Select cookie jars
Warhol shopped at flea markets, antique stores, and auction houses. Although he was very skilled at finding bargains and items that would become very valuable, he never did cash in his collection.
Related Object: Installation shot from Possession Obsession: Objects from Andy Warhol’s Personal Collection
Hoarded in obscurity in his New York City townhouse, Warhol’s vast collection was seen only on a few rare occasions when he allowed portions of it to be exhibited. Upon his death the estate was auctioned by Sotheby’s for a grand total of about 25 million dollars.
Film & Video
TC21 Object: Blank envelope (Andy Warhol Films, Inc.), 1970-1975
Ten empty business envelopes with the return address “Andy Warhol Films, Incorporated.” were found in TC21. Andy Warhol was fascinated with filmmaking and spent a large amount of time and money working in this medium. He began creating silent minimalist films in 1963, graduating to more elaborate commercial film productions in the early 1970s.
Related Object: Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait with Movie Camera, ca. 1971
In 1971, Warhol withdrew his 1960s films from public circulation and stored them in his studio. There are over 60 of these films in the collection of The Andy Warhol Museum. Warhol explored the process of making film, the structure of stories, the screen personality, and the tension between reality and illusion.
Related Object: Film Poster ("Lonesome Cowboys"), ca. 1968
In his films, as in his other artwork, Warhol tested the boundary between high and low culture. Warhol borrowed freely from Hollywood, as well as from the avant-garde, to create works that question how film is viewed as art and entertainment.