Skip to content

Please reserve your timed tickets.

Time Capsule 21:
Julia Warhola

Born in Pittsburgh in 1928, Andy Warhol grew up within the Carpatho‑Rusyn immigrant community, whose culture and Eastern rite Catholicism were passed down by his mother Julia Zavacky Warhola. She constantly reminded Warhol of his heritage by sharing with him the news of her family members still living in Eastern Europe and telling him stories about life there. Having artistic inclinations of her own, Julia Warhola recognized her son’s talent early on and encouraged him in various art activities. After graduating in 1949 from Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) with a degree in pictorial design, Warhol moved to New York City where he was joined by his mother three years later. They frequently collaborated on his art projects, with Julia contributing her unique handwriting to Warhol’s drawings, most often as the signature. Less frequently, Julia’s work was given a stage of its own, such as the book seen here, Holy Cats by Andy Warhol’s Mother. Even when Warhol was involved in a frenetic social life with New York’s cultural avant‑garde and celebrities, Julia insisted that he attend mass. She lived with him until 1971, a year before her death in 1972.