Andy Warhol Campbell soup cans at Target: Kool. Kate’s engagement story: Priceless!

So how are these Andy Warhol soup cans — and Jim’s marriage proposal to Kate — connected? Read on 🙂

limited edition warhol-campbells-soup-labelkateAndy Warhol was one of the most influential artists in the history of 20th century American popular culture — and, he played a pivotal role in my personal life story, as well. I’m a huge Warhol fan. I’ve made several trip to the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Penn. (where Warhol grew up) — including two that were life altering.

A career!

The first time I visited the Warhol Museum, I was in high school and made the trip with my Mom, who is also an artist. At that point, I knew I wanted to pursue a degree in art. But it was only after spending an awe-filled day absorbing the seven floors of the Warhol Museum that I knew I wanted to be a graphic designer. Seeing how Warhol transformed everyday objects — like the Campbell’s soup can — into works of art made me believe that I too could elevate the mundane and make the design we see every day a little more special.

A husband!

kate and Jim's photobooth-proposal in Andy Warhol MuseumA later trip to the Warhol Museum — about three years ago — would further change my life. I wanted to share the museum experience that had been instrumental to my career choice with my then-boyfriend Jim, so we made the trip. To my surprise Jim proposed to me in the photobooth in the basement of the museum. I had my 15 minutes of fame then as the entire museum staff congratulated me and wished us luck in our new lives together.

Four cans of soup!

Knowing my personal back story with Andy Warhol, you can see why I was ecstatic when I found out that Campbell’s soup was partnering with The Andy Warhol Foundation and Target to release these limited edition labels — based on original Warhol artwork. On Monday, I popped over to Target, and sure enough, I got me some pop art soup! Perfect decor for a retro kitchen — and so affordable: Just 75 cents a can!

limited edition warhol-campbells-soup-label
From Campbell’s press release:

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Andy Warhol’s 1962 famed work, 32 Campbell’s Soup Cans, Campbell Soup Company is introducing limited-edition cans of Campbell’s® Condensed Tomato soup with labels derived from original Warhol artwork. The four specially-designed labels reflect Warhol’s pop-art style and use vibrant, eye-catching color combinations like orange and blue, and pink and teal.

When asked why he painted Campbell’s soup cans, Warhol famously quipped, “I used to have the same [Campbell’s soup] lunch every day for twenty years1.” For his first solo gallery exhibition held in Los Angeles in 1962, Warhol exhibited his famous paintings of Campbell’s soup — 32 Campbell’s Soup Cans. Each of the thirty-two canvases depicted one variety of soup and was displayed side-by-side like cans of soup on a grocery store shelf. The painting helped launch Warhol’s career and ushered in Pop Art as a major art movement in the United States.

[Pam notes: For more info on the exact genesis of the Pop Art movement, see my story Pop Art and how it Started: Richard Hamilton, 1956, Just What is it that makes today’s homes so appealing, so different?]

Campbell’s Condensed soup is an iconic brand. And thanks to Andy Warhol’s inspired paintings, Campbell’s soup will always be linked to the Pop Art movement,” said Ed Carolan, Vice President & General Manager, Campbell North America. “This Fall, to honor the golden anniversary of his first gallery exhibit, we’ll celebrate Warhol and soup by releasing limited-edition Campbell’s Tomato soup cans and making Andy’s art available in the soup aisle of grocery stores.”

“In 1962, Andy Warhol changed the trajectory of contemporary art by depicting Campbell soup cans on canvas,” said Michael Hermann, Director of Licensing at The Andy Warhol Foundation. “It is only fitting that 50 years later we celebrate the enduring legacy of these two American icons by coming full circle and bringing his art back to the Campbell soup cans that provided him with inspiration.”

The limited-edition cans were produced under license from The Andy Warhol Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation that promotes the visual arts. Beginning Sunday, Sept. 2, the cans will be exclusively available at most Target locations nationwide for $.75 per 10.75-ounce can, while supplies last.

warhol-campbell's soup-label-quotesI think if Andy is watching, he’s pleased to see that painting what he ate for lunch still has such a huge affect on pop culture — even 50 years later. The backs of the cans feature quotes made famous by Andy Warhol.

Andy-Warhol_Big-Campbell's-Beef-Noodle-Soup

Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987)
Big Campbell’s Soup Can, 19¢(Beef Noodle)
1962
Acrylic and graphite on canvas
72 x 54 1/2 in. (182.9 x 138.4 cm)
The Menil Collection, Houston
© 2012 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Some more information from Campbell’s soup about the history of their relationship with Warhol:

While Campbell did not commission Warhol to paint the original soup cans, the company is proud to be associated with his work and currently displays an original Warhol painting at its headquarters in Camden, N.J. When the Campbell brand was featured in Warhol’s artwork starting in 1962, then President and CEO, William Beverly Murphy, indicated that he had some initial concern. The company took a “wait and see” approach and quickly became a supporter of Warhol’s work — sending him cases of Campbell’s Condensed Tomato soup, commissioning two paintings and establishing the Andy Warhol Scholarship Fund with the New York Art Academy.

Most recently, Campbell partnered with The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York as a sponsor of the education and concerts and lectures programs associated with the exhibition Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years , which opens on Tuesday, Sept. 18.

Big Campbell’s Soup Can, just above, will be in The Met’s exhibition.

warhol-figurine-with-soup

If all the hooplah over these limited edition labels gets you excited — or just makes you crave some tomato soup, take Warhol’s advice, “Pop Art is for everyone,” and get thee to Target to ladle up a hearty and affordable serving of art.

Be-Safe-graphic2.3

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Comments

  1. says

    The Warhol Foundation is planning a big sell-off of 20,000 of his works over the next few years. Some fear the flooding of the market and watering down prices will hurt the brand. This may be temporarily true, which would mean a good time to buy. There was a time when Picasso ceramics were considered “tourist ware”. Now they’re highly regarded pieces of art.

  2. MCM is Grand says

    Wow, I need to get over to Target today! Thanks, Kate!

    If anyone (like me) plans to have these cans on display indefinitely, you may want to empty them (carefully, from the bottom). This way, the top appears sealed and but you won’t have messy issues years from now, if the cans swell and pop !

  3. says

    Fun story Kate! I read about this last week, but my local Target is closed for remodeling – wah! I wonder if they’re available online yet. I checked last week and there wasn’t anything then. I’ll try again!

  4. Dulcie says

    Those are just covered in awesome sauce! I know exactly where I want to display them. Now, I’ve just got to make time to make the 70 mile round trip to my nearest Target.

  5. says

    Cool cans!

    I made a Warhol style montage of one of my cats a couple of years back, on my own, well before I discovered all of the photo enhancing websites. It was a lot of fun and looks pretty cool.

    I’m not a Campbell’s Soup fan (though did grow up eating it now and again), but those cans are great art! I was just in Target the other day, and though I don’t peruse the food aisles very often, I was in that section and didn’t see anything that caught my eye. These cans surely would have. I’m guessing that our local Target stores don’t have them. I’ll need to make another trip and have a look see. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  6. RetroSandie says

    Awesome! I will have to get over to Target to see if I can get these special cans! I also have an old cookbook that he did the illustrations in! And Kate, love the cute pix of you and now hubby! Such a cool way to propose!!! Thanks for the tip!!

    • Annie B. says

      RetroSandie,

      I, too, have that cookbook. “Illustrations by Andrew Warhol”. The drawings look so tame compared to his pop style.

    • Kate says

      Thanks RetroSandie! Jim and I got those photobooth strips framed for our first anniversary and they are hanging in our bedroom — a daily reminder of how lucky I am to have such a loving and wonderful husband! We also rented a photobooth for our wedding so all the guests could have a fun photobooth experience — it was a hit and we had an instant wedding album at the end of the night!

  7. says

    I saw these Warhol soup cans the other day and had to get all four of them (I’d just bought tomato soup a couple of days earlier – what am I going to do with all this soup?). Somewhere, I also have the Warhol cans that were released about 20 years ago by Campbell. I love Warhol’s simple yet complex thinking on art.
    I also love your engagement photos, Kate! How sweet! My proposal was in the want ads of the local newspaper. I had no idea why my sweetie wanted me to read the ads – that was something I almost never did. Then I finally saw it and had about the same reactions that you did! Alas, no photos of the event!

  8. hannah says

    HA! And I was planning a trip to Target this weekend for a new pillow. I’m going to have to get these for display purposes only. Very cool.

  9. lexavline says

    soup-er question:- )

    Would it best to display the cans with the soup in them or would it be better to empty them out?

  10. Rick S says

    I think the soup cans look great. I remember when Andy Warhol’s art first came out and my mom not “getting” it.
    I think you should use the soup and display empty can. My wife has a Pampered Chef can opener that cuts around the rolled seam not the flat part of the lid. you can glue the lid back on and hardly notice it was opened.
    rick

  11. lynda says

    You could use the can opener that opens on the sides of the can and leaves no sharp edges. The can opener is called a safety can opener. The can could be opened on the bottom, contents emptied, can washed and then the lid glued back on. Then there would be no danger of the contents spoiling and exploding in the future. You could also use these for cute gift containers. The top would be opened and then replaced with just a dab of glue so it could be lifted off easily. You could possible even decoupage the label to protect the paper. There are a few tutorials on the net for using cans as gift containers.

      • lynda says

        Not sure I understand what you mean. However, I don’t remember ever having trouble opening a can. Mine is an older Kuhn Rikon model. I read some reviews about the smooth edge can opener, and some said that some cans could not be opened. Maybe one of the edges of the can would not be rounded? I did see one of the Warhol soup cans opened on one site so the can could be saved. So I assume it would work on those cans, for sure.

    • Kate says

      Thanks Deva!

      I told him (jokingly) that if he didn’t ask me in a creative way that would make for a good story, I would say no. The secret is that I would have said yes no matter how he asked, but the fact that he was so creative with his proposal makes me love him even more (if that is possible!). My friends call him “Prince Charming” 🙂

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