The Artist's Books of Andy Warhol

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The Artist’s Books of Andy Warhol 1953 - 1959 SUSAN SHEEHAN GALLERY

Cover Andy Warhol at Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, ca. 1946 Above Andy Warhol with his mother, Julia Warhola, New York, 1950

The Artist’s Books of Andy Warhol 1953 - 1959

SUSAN SHEEHAN GALLERY 136 East 16th Street New York, NY 10003 Tel: 1-212 489-3331


ndy Warhol (1928–1987) was not always known as a Pop artist nor an icon of the New York art world. He first moved to New York in 1949 to work as a commercial illustrator. Seeking community as well as an audience for his work, bookmaking offered Warhol an opportunity to expand his social and professional networks while exploring creative and conceptual ideas in a public way. He had recently graduated from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh with a BFA in Pictoral Design, during which time he had served as the Art Director of the student art magazine. His experience working in the print medium as a student set him up for commercial success and prepared him to work collaboratively while serving as his own editor, illustrator, and publisher. The bookmaking process also married his interests in printmaking and modes of mass production. Warhol’s self-published books from the 1950s serve as fertile ground for understanding his innovative ways of working that came to cement his reputation as unequaled in the 1960s.

Left Warhol, portfolio in hand, New York, 1950

Formally, most of Warhol’s publications from this period feature offset lithographs of the artist’s signature blotted-line drawings. To create these images, Warhol would draw with black ink on a piece of paper that was either folded in half or connected to another sheet by a piece of tape. While the ink was still wet, he would fold the paper over to produce a mirror image of the drawing on the facing sheet. This process required Warhol to work slowly and produced many accidental marks that the artist embraced. After completing the blotted-line drawings, Warhol brought them to inexpensive commercial printing firms in New York to reproduce them as offset lithographs. Warhol used this affordable technique to give his books the appearance of being massproduced, for he believed commercially printed materials carried an inherent status of acceptance. Warhol sometimes discarded the original ink drawings, forecasting his later interest in eschewing the artist’s hand and complicating ideas of originality. In this way, Warhol’s publications from the 1950s reflect the value he placed on seriality and circulation throughout his career. In addition to the blotted-line drawings, Warhol’s self-published artist’s books share another signature commonality: all the text is written in an eccentric, loopy script, rather than type. The handwriting belongs to Warhol’s mother, Julia Warhola, with whom he lived. Warhol loved her distinctive lettering, often asking her to sign drawings for him and to write out text for his commercial work. He also enlisted her to write the text for each of his own publications. Warhol’s ongoing collaboration with his mother set the stage for him to incorporate other voices and hands into his publications.

Right Julia Warhola and Andy Warhol seated with family in front of their home at 3252 Dawson Street, Pittsburgh, ca. 1945

Many of the books include offset lithographs that Warhol’s friends helped to hand-color at so-called coloring parties held at both his home and Serendipity 3, a small café on New York’s Upper East Side. Opened in 1954, the café was located near many of the galleries where Warhol showed his art, as well as stores for which he did commercial work, such as Bergdorf Goodman. Although Warhol was listed as the sole author on many of these publications, both the production and distribution of the books proved social affairs. Warhol also self-published books to expand his professional network. Beginning in 1953, he opted to send copies of his books to current and potential clients in lieu of conventional portfolio samples and traditional Christmas cards or gifts.

Left Andy Warhol and Stephen Bruce at Serendipity 3, New York, ca. 1962

Three of the publications featured in this catalogue were originally gifted by Warh pioneering designer and art director Cipe Pineles. During her illustrious 60-yea Pineles served as the first female art director of magazines such as Vogue, Glamou Fair, and House & Garden, making influential strides in a male-dominated field. Pinele credited as the first editorial art director to commission fine artists to create illustra her magazines. As a result of this practice, Pineles gave Warhol some of his first com work, as well as artists such as Ben Shahn. Warhol gave Pineles these books as staying in touch and distinguishing himself in hopes of receiving additional comm The books from her collection are especially fine examples of Warhol’s bookmaking as he paid special attention to the copies he gave her, adding gold leaf paper a collage elements to the pages and including personalized inscriptions on the cover

All the books included here represent the varied approaches Warhol took to his publication projects throughout the 1950s, including: working jointly with one othe or with an invisible team of loose collaborators; experimenting with various colors a of paper; parodying existing forms, such as children’s books and cookbooks; and repr images from other books and photographs. Taken together, they are a precursor to his in seriality and commercially-produced artwork while showcasing the wide range of yet whimsical ideas Warhol was exploring in the years before his turn to pure Pop a

Right Cipe Pineles, ca. 1950

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Love is a Pink Cake 1953 Portfolio of 25 unbound sheets (including title page) Offset lithographs on pale blue paper Sheet size: 11 x 8 1/2 inches, each Created in collaboration with Ralph Thomas Ward [Corkie] who wrote the poems.


arhol’s first explorations of the book medium were partially aimed at trying to enter the children’s book market, and thus often feature the alphabet or rhymes. Love Is a Pink Cake is the earliest example of such practice. The book features quippy poems accompanied by illustrations of famous men and women from history. However, the content of the poems is not quite child-appropriate, often alluding to the figures’ torrid love affairs or secret homosexual tendencies. Warhol’s friend and former classmate Ralph T. Ward authored the poems under the name Corkie.

Left and Overleaf Pages from Love is a Pink Cake, 1953

Evidencing Warhol’s status as a young, still-emergent artist, Love Is a Pink Cake was produced using readily available materials: it was printed on blue office paper and sometimes bound using staples. As Lucy Mulroney writes in Andy Warhol, Publisher (2018), Ward and Warhol had ambitions of creating a series of children’s books in the early 1950s. Love Is a Pink Cake was the first book they pitched to publishers to set

this goal in motion. They wrote to Farrar, Straus & Young; Harcourt, Brace; and Little, Brown. With each submission, Warhol altered his identity, often portraying himself as a woman as to attract greater interest. However, the book did not generate interest, and by 1955, Ward and Warhol’s collaboration ceased.

The collaborators’ parting of ways perhaps resulted from Warhol’s alleged romantic interest in Ward, which Ward did not reciprocate. Knowing this, Love Is a Pink Cake also reads like an awkward love letter. Through the poems, Ward effectively offers Warhol condolences for his unrequited love, using examples of other ill-fated relationships from history. Regardless of any personal conflicts, Love Is a Pink Cake lends playful visibility and legitimacy to promiscuity and homosexuality, which were widely considered taboo in the 1950s.

Right Page from Love is a Pink Cake, 1953

A is an Alphabet 1953 Portfolio of 26 unbound sheets Offset lithographs Sheet size: 9 1/2 x 6 inches, each The sheets are enclosed in a tracing vellum cover. The text, “a is an al- phabet by corki and andy,” is typewritten on an octagonal label outlined in red and attatched to the cover. Created in collaboration with Ralph Thomas Ward [Corkie] who wrote the poems.

Left and Overl


arhol and Ward’s second collaborative project was A is an Alphabet, a portfolio of twenty-six offset lithographs. The pages are enclosed in a translucent vellum cover, attached to which is an octagonal label outlined in red. The label features typewritten text that reads, “a is an al- phabet by corki and andy.” Although this particular set of prints is not bound, some copies were stapled into book format. Similar to Love Is a Pink Cake, the guiding structure of the series—the alphabet—suggests that children were the target audience. However, the content, written again by Ward under the nom de plume Corkie, is somber. Each page features a line drawing and a description of a man or woman whose name starts with a different letter, appearing in order from A to Z. The individuals seem to come from many walks of life, but Ward consistently describes them as lonely or scarred by a significant event, typically through the lens of their sexuality or gender.

leaf Pages from A is an Alphabet, 1953

Warhol’s drawings in A is an Alphabet are far less detailed than in some of his other publications from the 1950s, leaving more room for the reader to imagine the figures’ features based on Ward’s brief description. As a

result, the portfolio creates space for a meditation on gender and identity, formation and presentation. At the time, breaking with normative, binary gender roles made A is an Alphabet a quietly rebellious publication.

Although this set of prints in A is an Alphabet are not staple-bound, it is clear that Warhol and Ward intended the series to be published as a book. The pair sent A is an Alphabet to publishers along with Love Is a Pink Cake Above Pages from A is an Alphabet, 1953

in the summer of 1953, but only received rejection letters. However, the themes explored in A is an Alphabet continued to undercut Warhol’s book projects even after he and Ward stopped working together.

25 Cats Name[d] Sam and One Blue Pussy Ca. 1954 Bound book with 18 pages (including colophon page); 17 plates hand-colored offset lithographs, Sheet size: 9 x 5 7/8 inches, each Edition size: 190, as indicated on colophon (the printer, Seymour Berlin, claims only 150 were made) Signed and numbered in pen on the colophon by the artist Lettering by Warhol’s mother, Julia Warhola

Cover plate, hand-colored offset lithograph pasted onto white buckram board. The cover reads “25 Cats name[d] Sam an one Blue Pussy By Andy Warhol” Inscribed “Cipe” on cover in black ink

The colophon text reads “This edition Consists of 190 Copis (sic) which have been Printed by Seymour Berlin P.I. 9.8070 T is copy no __ [the number 12 written in and signed Andy Warhol in black ink] 25 Cats name[d] sam and one Blue [Pussy] w written by Charles Lisanby.” Provenance: Gift from the artist to Cipe Pineles, By descent to previous owner, to Susan Sheehan Gallery, New York


This was

Above Andy Warhol with a Siamese cat, New York, 1957 Overleaf Pages from 25 Cats Name[d] Sam and One Blue Pussy, 1954


hile he was working on collaborative book projects, Warhol was also self-publishing books on his own, such as the widely celebrated 25 Cats Name[d] Sam and One Blue Pussy. As the title suggests, the book features illustrations of variously sized cats, each accompanied by one word: Sam. Some of the drawings are tracings of photos from Walter Chandoha’s book All Kinds of Cats (1952). The last page of 25 Cats features the eponymous Blue Pussy, the only cat in the book not named Sam.

As Lucy Mulroney writes in Andy Warhol, Publisher (2018), the “playful repetition of Sams celebrates difference within similarity.” In this way, the book lightheartedly reflects on identity and otherness. Meanwhile, the book’s formal qualities call to mind mail order catalogues marketing different models or colors of the same product, likely an intentional connection given that

Warhol would have presented this book to current or prospective commercial clients. The repetitious nature of the cat illustrations also foreshadows his later Pop art, such as his portfolios of prints of figures such as Mao or Marilyn Monroe, in which he uses different colors to print several versions of the same image. Warhol’s interest in seriality continued throughout his career.

Although 25 Cats was not a joint endeavor like A is an Alphabet or Love Is a Pink Cake, Warhol did not do away with collaboration entirely to create this book. As he did with almost all his self-published works created between 1954 and 1959, Warhol enlisted the help of friends to assist in the production, and in the case of this book, the hand-coloring. To do this, he would have held

one of his coloring parties at Serendipity 3 or at his home, bringing with him dozens of copies of the offset lithograph prints that would become the book pages. He would have spread the pages and bottles of Dr. Martin’s aniline ink dyes across the table, instructing his collaborators to color at will. These dyes, which are still sold in art supply stores today, are highly saturated.

Warhol would have had his fellow painters mix the pigment with water to achieve the translucent washes seen throughout his publications from this period. Owing to this improvisational and collaborative approach to the coloring process, each copy of the book is unique. This copy of 25 Cats is particularly special as it, along with several other publications included

in this catalogue, was once owned by pioneering designer and art director Cipe Pineles. Warhol had his mother inscribe Pineles’s copy by writing “Cipe” on the cover. It is clear that Warhol sought to impress Pineles with the publication, for special attention was paid to ensure that every page was hand-colored.

Left Page

25 Cats also contains some mysterious incongruities that function like inside jokes, exemplifying the cheeky, campy approach Warhol took with his overall publishing practice. For example, his mother misspelled “Named” on the cover, writing “Name,” instead, and Warhol did not correct it. The title also declares that the book contains 25 cats in addition to the Blue Pussy, when in fact there are only 17. Furthermore, the colophon attributes the book text to Charles Lisanby, but the only words in the book are “Sam” and “One Blue Pussy.” In reality, Lisanby had simply come up with the title. 25 Cats thus serves not just as a key example of his hand-colored publications from this period, but also the ways in which Warhol investigated and communicated sincere ideas through humorous publication projects.

e from 25 Cats Name[d] Sam and One Blue Pussy, 1954

A Gold Book 1957 Bound book with 22 pages (including title page and two blank pages); 19 pages: 13 pages, offset lithographs on gold paper, 4 pages, hand-colored offset lithographs, 2 pages, uncolored offset lithographs. Sheet size: 14 1/4 x 11 1/4 inches, each Edition size: approximately 100 Lettering by Warhol’s mother, Julia Warhola White buckram cover. Annotated “To Cipe A.W.”, on cover in black ink The book retains 5 pieces of interleaving colored tissue paper Provenance: Gift from the artist to Cipe Pineles, By descent to previous owner, to Susan Sheehan Gallery, New York

Left an


n 1956, Warhol travelled through Asia with his friend Charles Lisanby, visiting Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and India. He was immensely inspired by the use of gold leaf on Buddhist sculptures he encountered throughout the trip, and in particular by Japanese sculptural objects. Upon returning to New York, he sought ways to add gold to his work, beginning a lifelong interest in using gold as a symbolic and aesthetic material. Many of Warhol’s drawings from the 1950s incorporate gold leaf, and a year after the trip, Warhol created A Gold Book. Seeing gold as an indication of wealth and prestige, Warhol often included it in his artworks and publications that he gifted to professional contacts as a way of currying favor with them. Later in his career, he gave or sold gold-embellished works to friends and contacts whom he knew to be wealthy.

nd Overleaf Pages from A Gold Book, 1957

Warhol made several versions of A Gold Book in 1956. This copy features 13 offset lithographs printed on gold-coated paper and 6 offset lithographs printed on white paper; four of the latter offset lithographs are also hand-colored. Between the pages, Warhol laid pink, purple, and teal tissue paper, some of which are still intact in this copy. A Gold Book is thus a sensory experience, replete with varied textures, colors,

and sounds as one flips from one page to the next, causing the tissue to crackle. The covers of different versions of A Gold Book vary, as some are plain white buckram, while others feature a gold-coated paper cover which sometimes has an offset lithograph of a hand holding a flower printed on gold paper, pasted on top.

Left Cover of A Gold Book, 1957 Right Cipe Pineles, New York, ca. 1950 Overleaf Pages from A Gold Book, 1957

On the cover of this copy is a hand-written inscription: “To Cipe A.W.” Like 25 Cats and Wild Raspberries, this copy of A Gold Book comes from the collection of Cipe Pineles. Pineles was the first female member of the prestigious Art Directors Club and the first woman inducted into the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame. Pineles also famously created opportunities for many artists, including Warhol, through commissioning editorial illustrations. If Warhol used gold as a key material when creating artworks and publications intended for his professional contacts, this copy of A Gold Book intended for Pineles would have been particularly important. This likely explains why this copy also contains many hand-colored illustrations. As an admirer and friend of many influential women in New York at the time, it is no surprise that Warhol maintained a relationship with the powerful and creative Pineles.

Some copies of A Gold Book open with a dedication inside the cover page, addressed to: “Boys Filles fruits and flowers Shoes and t.c. and e.w.” T.C. here refers to Ted Carey, a close friend of Warhol’s, while E.W. refers to Warhol’s then-lover, Edward Wallowitch. Wallowitch was Warhol’s first boyfriend, and he based several of the drawings in A Gold

Book on Wallowitch’s photography. The various other people and objects in the list— such as boys, fruits, and flowers—allude to Warhol’s identity as a gay man, suggesting that the luxurious aspects of the book itself are a celebration of homosexuality.

Left P

Warhol typically produced books of this kind in editions of approximately 100, but he assigned almost every copy a number under 100. His early studio assistant Nathan Gluck recalled, “Andy got the idea that everybody wanted to have low numbers.” This deliberate muddling of authenticity is something Warhol would carry into his artistic practice in the 1960s and beyond.

Pages from A Gold Book, 1957

Wild Raspberries 1959 Bound book with 22 pages (including title page and two blank pages); 18 pages, one of which is a double page: 11 pages, hand-colored offset lithographs, 6 pages, offset lithographs, 9 pages with gold leaf or gold paper collage details. Sheet size: 17 1/8 x 10 3/4 inches, each (double page: 17 1/8 x 21 1/2 inches) Edition size: Unknown Created in collaboration with Suzie Frankfurt who provided the recipes. Lettering by Warhol’s mother, Julia Warhola Fuchsia buckram board cover. Interior cover inscribed “To Cipe Andy Warhol” in ink The book retains 6 sheets of fuchsia interleaving tissue paper. Provenance: Gift from the artist to Cipe Pineles, By descent to previous owner, to Susan Sheehan Gallery, New York

Left and Over


ild Raspberries is a late but prime example of the social and whimsical aspects of Warhol’s 1950s book publishing practice. The book consists of recipes accompanied by detailed illustrations. In this copy of the book, eleven pages are hand-colored in vibrant hues and some have hand-applied gold leaf and collage elements. Although the images depict enticing cakes and platters, upon closer inspection, the recipes are for dishes such as “Roast Iguana” and “Salade de Alf Landon,” the latter of which describes a bombe with lobster tails and capers. Clearly, the cookbook is satirical, designed to parody the complex French cookbooks that were in vogue in the 1950s.

rleaf Pages from Wild Raspberries, 1959

For Warhol, the book was not about cooking, but rather another exercise in collaboration. The recipes were written by his then-new friend Suzie Frankfurt, a prominent interior decorator with a well-connected husband who worked in advertising. Frankfurt first encountered Warhol’s work at the stylish Upper East Side café Serendipity 3 in 1959, where he frequently gathered with friends and exhibited drawings and prints. She arranged to meet the artist through her husband, and they immediately struck up a friendship. Enchanted by her childhood spent in Malibu among celebrities and her taste in antique jewelry, the two spent time shopping and dining together.

The idea for Wild Raspberries emerged over dinner at Frankfurt’s home in September 1959. Warhol created the drawings and Frankfurt wrote the recipes, which Warhol’s mother then wrote out in her unique script. Frankfurt and Warhol also enlisted the help of four small boys that lived in Frankfurt’s apartment building to assist with coloring the illustrations. A group of rabbis in downtown Manhattan hand-bound the books when finished. The pair approached Bloomingdale’s and local bookstores, convinced that there would be an outpouring of interest. Sadly, the book generated none and was primarily given to friends and as gifts—hence its rarity today.

Left and O

This copy of Wild Raspberries belonged to Cipe Pineles. Warhol frequently gifted Pineles copies of his self-published works as a way of staying in touch. Given her prominence in the publishing world, it comes as no surprise that Warhol paid special attention to this copy of Wild Raspberries intended for her. Uniquely, this copy features gold leaf and gold paper collage elements throughout, applied generously to almost every page, especially those that are not hand-colored. This copy also features a vibrant pink cover with halfsheets of pink tissue paper between several pages to match. The interior of the cover includes the inscription, “To Cipe Andy Warhol.” Warhol’s decision to send Pineles Wild Raspberries in particular carries special significance as Pineles was known not only for her prominence as an art director, but also for her illustrations of food. After immigrating from Vienna in 1915, she enrolled at Pratt Institute to study fine art. In her graduation portfolio, her love of food appears in watercolors of bread loaves and chocolate cakes. These were noticed by her classmates and alongside her senior portrait a quote from a peer proclaims “The most remarkable water colorist in our class. Boys, it’s too late: Cipe is wedded to her art-and they’re both happy.” Years later she would incorporate similar culinary paintings in her professional work. Most notably, in 1948, she illustrated an article about potatoes for Seventeen magazine which won her an Art Director’s Club award.

Overleaf Pages from Wild Raspberries, 1959

Pineles completed a manuscript for a cookbook of her own, titled Leave Me Alone with the Recipes, in 1945 (published in 2017 after the manuscript was discovered at an antiquarian book fair). This personal project included illustrations of Eastern European Jewish food alongside hand-scripted recipes passed down from her mother. The manuscript’s whimsical imagery and playful lettering echo those in Wild Raspberries. Pineles likely recognized these shared stylistic sensibilities.

Wild Raspberries was one of the last self-published books Warhol produced before turning toward Pop art in the early 1960s. By this time, Warhol was also increasingly disinterested in commercial work, and since many of the books he produced in the 1950s were designed to entice clients, the practice was no longer a priority for him. However, the many people and steps involved in creating Wild Raspberries set the stage for the way Warhol would work at his infamous Factory in the coming years. The publication also cemented Warhol and Frankfurt’s lifelong friendship.

Holy Cats (Warhol’s Mother) ca. 1954 Bound book with 22 pages; 20 plates, offset lithographs on various colored paper. Sheet size: 9 1/8 x 5 3/4 inches, each Printed cover. Back inside cover stamped and numbered by The Estate of Andy Warhol and The Warhol Foundation. Provenance: The Estate of Andy Warhol, New York

Left and Over


round 1957, Warhol produced Holy Cats as a companion or sequel to 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy. The book serves as a eulogy for Hester, Warhol’s mother’s beloved cat. Unlike his other books from this period, the text in Holy Cats is not only hand-written by Julia Warhola, but she is also responsible for the content. The cover of the book cites the author as “Andy Warhol’s mother,” which is seemingly Warhol’s only connection to the publication. Warhola also illustrated the book with a series of fanciful cats and angels—two of her favorite things to draw—interacting harmoniously. Unlike 25 Cats, the color in Holy Cats comes from the paper on which the text and images were printed.

rleaf Pages from Holy Cats, ca. 1957

In this publication, one easily sees the influence of Warhol’s mother’s style of drawing on the artist. Warhol arrived in New York from Pittsburgh in 1949 and changed his name from ‘Warhola’ to ‘Warhol’ that same year. From 1949 to 1952, he lived with friends. When his mother moved to the city in 1952, Warhol

was living alone at 216 East 75th Street and she decided to move in with him. In 1959, Warhol bought a townhouse at 1342 Lexington Avenue— a purchase that attests to his rapidly escalating success. They lived there together until Warhola moved back to Pittsburgh in 1970 due to health reasons.

While the cats are not necessarily drawn from life, Warhol’s pets were very important to him. He frequently stated that he and his mother lived with anywhere from 7 to 50 cats. Although the exact number is unclear, Warhol’s friends distinctly recalled the many cats occupying his home. His proud love

of cats was one of many eccentricities that he hyperbolically leaned into as he developed his public persona, relishing in his existence as an outsider while hoping it would endear him to others. This love also connected him to his mother, with whom he shared both his home and, clearly, many passions.

Cited Literature: Chandoha, Walter. 1952. All kinds of cats. New York: Knopf. Mulroney, Lucy. 2018. Andy Warhol, Publisher. University of Chicago Press.

Rich, Sarah K., Wendy MacNaughton, Debbie Millman, Maria Popova, and Cipe Pineles. 2017. Leave me alone with the reci

ipes: the life, art, and cookbook of Cipe Pineles. New York: Bloomsbury USA.

SUSAN SHEEHAN GALLERY 136 East 16th Street New York, NY 10003 Tel: 1-212 489-3331

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