Saturday, March 25, 2023

1964 Campbell’s Soup Letter to Warhol


I get asked quite often if I know how Campbell’s Soup reacted to Andy Warhol’s numerous renditions of their famed soup cans. Were there copyright lawsuits? Did they settle? Were there cease and desist letters?

Myths and realities abound, but I have heard from lawyers that Campbell’s was in fact quite happy to see their product mass produced and on the walls of museums and collectors’ homes. In fact, if one considers the historical time frame of Warhol’s production, it makes sense that the period immediately after the first commercial television broadcast (early 1950s) was ripe for companies like Campbell’s Soup to gain free publicity from Warhol’s work. What better way to advertise than to see your product celebrated and talked on news casts and cultural television programming.

Well, thanks to the blog, Letters of Note, we have a letter from a Campbell’s Soup executive to Warhol, expressing his admiration for Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup work. Check it out!


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