kids encyclopedia robot

Andy Warhol facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol at the Jewish Museum (by Bernard Gotfryd) – LOC.jpg
Warhol in 1980
Andrew Warhola Jr.

(1928-08-06)August 6, 1928
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US
Died February 22, 1987(1987-02-22) (aged 58)
New York City, US
Education Carnegie Institute of Technology (Carnegie Mellon University)
Known for Printmaking, painting, cinema, photography
Notable work
Movement Pop art
Andy Warhol Autograph.svg

Andy Warhol ( born Andrew Warhola Jr.; August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987) was an American visual artist, film director, producer, and leading figure in the pop art movement. Some of his best-known works include the silkscreen paintings Campbell's Soup Cans (1962) and Marilyn Diptych (1962).

Early years

Andy Warhol's childhood home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Warhol's childhood home. 3252 Dawson Street, South Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Warhol was born on August 6, 1928, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was the fourth child of Ondrej Warhola (Americanized as Andrew Warhola Sr. 1889–1942) and Julia (née Zavacká, 1892–1972), who came to the US from Austria-Hungary.

Julia Warhola
An infant Warhol (right) with his mother, Julia, and his brother, John (left); dated c. 1930.

Warhol's father emigrated to the United States in 1914, and his mother joined him in 1921, after the death of Warhol's grandparents. Warhol's father worked in a coal mine. The family lived at 55 Beelen Street and later at 3252 Dawson Street in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

Andy Warhol had two elder brothers—Pavol (Paul), the eldest, was born before the family emigrated; Ján was born in Pittsburgh. Pavol's son, James Warhola, became a successful children's book illustrator.

In third grade, Warhol had Sydenham's chorea (also known as St. Vitus' Dance), the nervous system disease that causes involuntary movements of the extremities, which is believed to be a complication of scarlet fever. At times when he was confined to bed, he drew, listened to the radio and collected pictures of movie stars around his bed. Warhol later described this period as very important in the development of his personality, skill-set and preferences. When Warhol was 13, his father died in an accident.

As a teenager, Warhol graduated from Schenley High School in 1945, and also won a Scholastic Art and Writing Award. After graduating from high school, he wanted to become an art teacher and study art education at the University of Pittsburgh.

His plans changed and he enrolled in the Carnegie Institute of Technology, now Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he studied commercial art. During his time there, Warhol joined the campus Modern Dance Club and Beaux Arts Society.

Warhol earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in pictorial design in 1949. Later that year, he moved to New York City and began a career in magazine illustration and advertising.

Artictic career

Andy Warhol in 1950
Warhol in New York City, in 1950

Warhol initially pursued a successful career as a commercial illustrator. After exhibiting his work in several galleries in the late 1950s, he began to receive recognition as an influential and controversial artist. He promoted a collection of personalities known as Warhol superstars, and is credited with inspiring the widely used expression "15 minutes of fame".

During the 1960s Warhol began to make paintings of iconic American objects such as dollar bills, mushroom clouds, electric chairs, Campbell's soup cans, Coca-Cola bottles, celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and Elizabeth Taylor.

In May 1962, Warhol was featured in an article in Time magazine with his painting Big Campbell's Soup Can with Can Opener (Vegetable) (1962), which initiated his most sustained motif, the Campbell's soup can. That painting became Warhol's first to be shown in a museum when it was exhibited at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford in July 1962. On July 9, 1962, Warhol's exhibition opened at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles with Campbell's Soup Cans, marking his West Coast debut of pop art.

In November 1962, Warhol had an exhibition at Eleanor Ward's Stable Gallery in New York. The exhibit included the works Gold Marilyn, eight of the classic "Marilyn" series also named "Flavor Marilyns", Marilyn Diptych, 100 Soup Cans, 100 Coke Bottles, and 100 Dollar Bills. Gold Marilyn, was bought by the architect Philip Johnson and donated to the Museum of Modern Art. At the exhibit, Warhol met poet John Giorno, who would star in Warhol's first film, Sleep (1964).

In early 1963, Warhol rented his first studio, an old firehouse at 159 East 87th Street. At this studio, he created his Elvis series, which included Eight Elvises (1963) and Triple Elvis (1963). These portraits along with a series of Elizabeth Taylor portraits were shown at his second exhibition at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles. Later that year, Warhol relocated his studio to East 47th Street, which would turn into The Factory. The Factory became a popular gathering spot for a wide range of artists, writers, musicians, and underground celebrities.

His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, advertising, and celebrity culture that flourished by the 1960s, and span a variety of media, including painting, silkscreening, photography, film, and sculpture. Some of his famous works are the experimental films Empire (1964) and Chelsea Girls (1966), and the multimedia events known as the Exploding Plastic Inevitable (1966–67).

In the late 1960s he managed and produced the experimental rock band The Velvet Underground and founded Interview magazine. He authored numerous books, including The Philosophy of Andy Warhol and Popism: The Warhol Sixties.

In 1979, Warhol and his longtime friend Stuart Pivar founded the New York Academy of Art. In January 1987, Warhol traveled to Milan for the opening of his last exhibition, Last Supper, at the Palazzo delle Stelline.

Personal life

He lived openly as a gay man before the gay liberation movement. In June 1968, he was almost killed by radical feminist Valerie Solanas, who shot him inside his studio.


Warhol was an avid collector. His friends referred to his numerous collections, which filled not only his four-story townhouse, but also a nearby storage unit, as "Andy's Stuff". The true extent of his collections was not discovered until after his death, when The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh took in 641 boxes of his "Stuff".

Warhol's collections included a Coca-Cola memorabilia sign, and 19th century paintings along with airplane menus, unpaid invoices, pizza dough, newspapers, stamps, supermarket flyers, and cookie jars, among other eccentricities. It also included significant works of art, such as George Bellows's Miss Bentham.

One of his main collections was his wigs. Warhol owned more than 40 and felt very protective of his hairpieces, which were sewn by a New York wig-maker from hair imported from Italy.

In 1960, he had bought a drawing of a light bulb by Jasper Johns. Another item found in Warhol's boxes at the museum in Pittsburgh was a mummified human foot from Ancient Egypt. The curator of anthropology at Carnegie Museum of Natural History felt that Warhol most likely found it at a flea market.

Warhol collected many books, with more than 1,200 titles in his collection. Of these, 139 titles have been publicly identified through a 1988 Sotheby's Auction catalog, The Andy Warhol Collection and can be viewed online. His book collection reflects his eclectic taste and interests, and includes books written by and about some of his acquaintances and friends. Some of the titles in his collection include The Two Mrs. Grenvilles: A Novel by Dominick Dunne, Artists in Uniform by Max Eastman, Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology by George Clinton Andrews, D.V. by Diana Vreeland, Blood of a Poet by Jean Cocteau, Watercolours by Francesco Clemente, Little World, Hello! by Jimmy Savo, Hidden Faces by Salvador Dalí, and The Dinah Shore Cookbook.


Warhol's grave
Warhol's grave at St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania
Bratislava Venturska ulica1
Statue of Andy Warhol in Bratislava, Slovakia

Warhol died of cardiac arrhythmia in February 1987 at the age of 58 in New York City, recovering after gallbladder surgery. Prior to his diagnosis and operation, Warhol delayed having his recurring gallbladder problems checked, as he was afraid to enter hospitals and see doctors. His family sued the hospital for inadequate care. The case was quickly settled out of court; Warhol's family received an undisclosed sum of money.

Warhol's brothers took his body back to Pittsburgh. Warhol was buried near his parents. Before the coffin was lowered, Warhol's close friend and associate publisher of Interview, Paige Powell, dropped a copy of the magazine and a bottle of Beautiful Eau de Parfum by Estée Lauder into the grave. A memorial service was held in Manhattan for Warhol at St. Patrick's Cathedral on April 1, 1987.

Warhol's will dictated that his entire estate—with the exception of a few modest legacies to family members—would go to create a foundation dedicated to the "advancement of the visual arts". Warhol had so many possessions that it took Sotheby's nine days to auction his estate after his death; the auction grossed more than US$20 million.

Interesting facts about Andy Warhol

  • The Andy Warhol Museum in his native city of Pittsburgh holds an extensive permanent collection of art and archives. It is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to a single artist.
  • He served as art director of the student art magazine, Cano, illustrating a cover in 1948 and a full-page interior illustration in 1949. These are believed to be his first two published artworks.
  • Andy Warhol is considered the 'Father of pop art'.
  • Warhol's first pop art paintings were displayed in April 1961.
  • As an artist, he was often criticized for being 'too commercial'.
  • Warhol occasionally walked the fashion runways and did product endorsements.
  • Many of his creations are very collectible and highly valuable. His works include some of the most expensive paintings ever sold.
  • In 2013, a 1963 serigraph titled Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster) sold for $105 million.
  • In 2022, Shot Sage Blue Marilyn (1964) sold for $195 million, which is the most expensive work of art sold at auction by an American artist.
  • In 2002, the US Postal Service issued an 18-cent stamp commemorating Warhol. Designed by Richard Sheaff of Scottsdale, Arizona, the stamp was unveiled at a ceremony at The Andy Warhol Museum and features Warhol's painting "Self-Portrait, 1964".
  • In March 2011, a chrome statue of Andy Warhol and his Polaroid camera was revealed at Union Square in New York City.
  • A crater on Mercury was named after Warhol in 2012.
  • In 2013, to honor the 85th anniversary of Warhol's birthday, The Andy Warhol Museum and EarthCam launched a collaborative project titled Figment, a live feed of Warhol's gravesite.
  • Warhol appeared as a recurring character in TV series Vinyl, played by John Cameron Mitchell.
  • He was portrayed by Evan Peters in the American Horror Story: Cult episode "Valerie Solanas Died for Your Sins: Scumbag".


Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, books, and feature and documentary films. Warhol has been described as the "bellwether of the art market".

Art market

In 1998, Orange Marilyn (1964), a depiction of Marilyn Monroe, sold for $17.3 million, which at the time set a new record as the highest price paid for a Warhol artwork. In 2007, one of Warhol's 1963 paintings of Elizabeth Taylor, Liz (Colored Liz), which was owned by actor Hugh Grant, sold for $23.7 million at Christie's.

In 2007, Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson sold Warhol's Turquoise Marilyn (1964) to financier Steven A. Cohen for $80 million. In May 2007, Green Car Crash (1963) sold for $71.1 million and Lemon Marilyn (1962) sold for $28 million at Christie's post-war and contemporary art auction. In 2007, Large Campbell's Soup Can (1964) was sold at a Sotheby's auction to a South American collector for 7.4 million. In November 2009, 200 One Dollar Bills (1962) at Sotheby's for $43.8 million.

In 2008, Eight Elvises (1963) was sold by Annibale Berlingieri for $100 million to a private buyer. The work depicts Elvis Presley in a gunslinger pose. It was first exhibited in 1963 at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles. Warhol made 22 versions of the Elvis portraits, 11 of which are held in museums. In May 2012, Double Elvis (Ferus Type) sold at auction at Sotheby's for $37 million. In November 2014, Triple Elvis (Ferus Type) sold for $81.9 million at Christie's.

In May 2010, a purple self-portrait of Warhol from 1986 that was owned by fashion designer Tom Ford sold for $32.6 million at Sotheby's. In November 2010, Men in Her Life (1962), based on Elizabeth Taylor, sold for $63.4 million at Phillips de Pury and Coca-Cola (4) (1962) sold for $35.3 million at Sotheby's. In May 2011, Warhol's first self-portrait from 1963 to 1964 sold for $38.4 million and a red self-portrait from 1986 sold for $27.5 million at Christie's. In May 2011, Liz #5 (Early Colored Liz) sold for $26.9 million at Phillips.

In November 2013, Warhol's rarely seen 1963 diptych, Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster), sold at Sotheby's for $105.4 million, a new record for the artist. In November 2013, Coca-Cola (3) (1962) sold for $57.3 million at Christie's. In May 2014, White Marilyn (1962) sold for $41 million at Christie's. In November 2014, Four Marlons (1964), which depicts Marlon Brando, sold for $69.6 million at Christie's. In May 2015, Silver Liz (diptych), painted in 1963, sold for $28 million and Colored Mona Lisa (1963) sold for $56.2 million at Christie's. In May 2017, Warhol's 1962 painting Big Campbell's Soup Can With Can Opener (Vegetable) sold for $27.5 million at Christie's. In 2017, billionaire hedge-fund manager Ken Griffin purchased Orange Marilyn privately for around $200 million. In March 2022, Silver Liz (Ferus Type) sold for 2.3 billion yen ($18.9 million) at Shinwa Auction, which set a new record for the highest bid ever at auction in Japan. In May 2022, Shot Sage Blue Marilyn (1964) sold for $195 million at Christie's, becoming the most expensive American artwork sold at auction.


Among Warhol's early collectors and influential supporters were Emily and Burton Tremaine. Among the over 15 artworks purchased, Marilyn Diptych (now at Tate Modern, London) and A boy for Meg (now at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC), were purchased directly out of Warhol's studio in 1962. One Christmas, Warhol left a small Head of Marilyn Monroe by the Tremaine's door at their New York apartment in gratitude for their support and encouragement.

Andy Warhol quotes

  • “When you do something exactly wrong, you always turn up something.”
  • “Art is anything you can get away with.”
  • “You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you.”
  • “The idea is not to live forever; it is to create something that will.”


  • Absolut Warhola (2001) was produced by Polish director Stanislaw Mucha, featuring Warhol's parents' family and hometown in Slovakia.
  • Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film (2006) is a reverential, four-hour movie by Ric Burns that won a Peabody Award in 2006.
  • Andy Warhol: Double Denied (2006) is a 52-minute movie by Ian Yentob about the difficulties authenticating Warhol's work.
  • Andy Warhol's People Factory (2008), a three-part television documentary directed by Catherine Shorr, features interviews with several of Warhol's associates.
  • The Andy Warhol Diaries (2022), a six-part docuseries directed by Andrew Rossi, was released on Netflix chronicling Warhol's life from the vantage point of his diaries.

Comic books

Warhol is featured as a character in the Miracleman series of comics. It is first mentioned that he was resurrected by the alien scientist Mors and subsequently convinces the latter to mass-produce copies of himself. Later on, 18 copies of Warhol are seen in the underworld beneath the pyramid structure Olympus, where they produce pop art relating to the new superhuman regime. One Warhol clone numbered 6 is assigned to and develop a friendship with a clone of Emil Gargunza (Miracleman's creator) before the latter's betrayal and attempted escape.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Andy Warhol para niños

kids search engine
Andy Warhol Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.