Merry Christmas From Andy Warhol—and His Fans

THE DAILY PIC wishes readers the very best of the holiday season, in the best Andy Warhol tradition.

THE DAILY PIC (#1702): With a little help from Andy Warhol, who seems to have made half his living in the 1950s doing Christmas cards—including a couple for the Museum of Modern Art—the Daily Pic wishes everyone out there the very merriest, happiest of holiday seasons. Warhol loved Christmas, so why shouldn’t we?

Here’s a list of random Warholian Christmas factoids:

– While still in college at Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh, some of Warhol’s first works in his mature style were the Christmas cards he sent to friends. Like today’s Daily Pic, one that he sent to George Klauber, his first openly gay friend, showed a bunch of young men dancing and prancing—foreshadowing Warhol’s own fey antics about to begin in New York.

– For instance, at a louche Christmas party in 1951 where wild dancing led to a gash in the leg of Klauber, who had shed his pants. When the ambulance and police arrived, Warhol took off in terror of homophobic reprisals.

– In the 1950s, Warhol was featured in a couple of Christmas-card catalogs for the Museum of Modern Art. He was in good company: Picasso and Matisse were in the catalogs, too.

– But one 1950s client wasn’t impressed: “He gave us a whole series of little funny drawings for Christmas—they were his original drawings, little sketches of an angel, or a cat all bright red – but hardly anything was suitable for Christmas. They weren’t very appealing.”

– Almost all of Warhol’s early self-published books were designed to be sold and exhibited and given away at Christmastime. They were eagerly awaited by Warhol’s best clients as his annual thank-you for their business.

– In the 1980s, when Warhol hardly needed to keep massaging client egos, one young artist who was working doing deliveries for a florist remembers spending days carting Warhol’s orders around town.

(Image ©The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts)

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