Campbell's Soup Cans, 1962
Synthetic polymer paint on thirty-two canvases, Each canvas 20 x 16" (50.8 x 40.6 cm).
Andy Warhol, American, 1928-1987
When Warhol first exhibited Campbell's Soup Cans, sometimes referred to as 32 Campbell's Soup Cans, each one simultaneously hung from the wall like a painting and rested on a shelf like groceries in a store. Each of the thirty two-canvases, measuring 20 inches by 16 inches, corresponds to one of the varieties of soup then sold by the Campbell Soup Company. There is no evidence that Warhol envisioned the canvases in a particular sequence. Here, they are arranged in rows that reflect the chronological order in which they were introduced, beginning with "Tomato" in the upper left, which debuted in 1897. The individual paintings were produced with a semi-mechanized silkscreen process, using a non-painterly style. Repeating the same image at the same scale, the canvases stress the uniformity and ubiquity of the Campbell's can.
For Warhol, a commercial illustrator who became a successful author, painter, and film director, the work was his first one-man gallery exhibition as a fine artist. First exhibited in the Ferus Gallery of Los Angeles, California, it marked the West Coast debut of pop art.
Gift of Irving Blum; Nelson A. Rockefeller Bequest, gift of Mr. and Mrs. William A. M. Burden, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Fund, gift of Nina and Gordon Bunshaft in honor of Henry Moore, Lillie P. Bliss Bequest, Philip Johnson Fund, Frances Keech Bequest, gift of Mrs. Bliss Parkinson, and Florence B. Wesley Bequest (all by exchange)
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was founded in 1929 and is often recognized as the most influential museum of modern art in the world. Over the course of the next ten years, the Museum moved three times into progressively larger temporary quarters, and in 1939 finally opened the doors of its midtown home, located on 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in midtown.
MoMA's holdings include more than 150,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, architectural models and drawings, and design objects. Highlights of the collection inlcude Vincent Van Gogh's The Starry Night, Salvador Dali's The Persisence of Memory, Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiseels d'Avignon and Three Musicians, Claude Monet's Water Lilies, Piet Mondrian's Broadway Boogie Woogie, Paul Gauguin's The Seed of the Areoi, Henri Matisse's Dance, Marc Chagall's I and the Village, Paul Cezanne's The Bather, Jackson Pollack's Number 31, 1950, and Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans. MoMA also owns approximately 22,000 films and four million film stills, and MoMA's Library and Archives, the premier research facilities of their kind in the world, hold over 300,000 books, artist books, and periodicals, and extensive individual files on more than 70,000 artists.