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SUPERMAN : Original Source

Pre-Lichtenstein Andy Warhol Source Images

Original Artist: Kurt Schaffenberger



Kurt Schaffenberger's first job in comics came in June of 1941, when he was assigned to inking backgrounds for a 'Captain Marvel' story. After the war, Schaffenberger joined the studio of C.C. Beck and Pete Costanza, and his work expanded by becoming a featured artist on 'Ibis the Invincible'. Schaffenberger was hired by DC Comics in 1957 to become the artist on 'Lois Lane'. From there, Schaffenberger became a regular contributor to the entire Superman comics line. He later became a frequent artist on the anthology series 'The Superman Family'. Schaffenberger also created artwork for DC's Shazam! series after C.C. Beck's departure. In 1968, Kurt Schaffenberger succeeded Jim Mooney as the artist on the 'Supergirl' feature.


It would seem that Lichtenstein was even less original than many of his existing detractors had thought.


The first time that Warhol's large canvases of comic strip characters were exhibited publicly was in April 1961 as part of a window display at the Bonwit Teller department store. Ted Carey discovered afterwards that Roy Lichtenstein was doing similar work.


Andy Warhol Predates Roy Lichtenstein By Six Months


Ted Carey:


"... I can remember one Saturday afternoon going into Castelli [Gallery], and I was in looking at a show, and Ivan said, 'Oh, I've got something to show you...' so, we went into the closet and he pulled out this big Pop Art painting, and I can't remember what it was, but it was a cartoon-type painting. And I said, 'It looks like Andy Warhol.' and he said, 'No, it's Roy Lichtenstein.' And I said, 'Well it looks very much like some paintings that Andy is doing.' 'Yes, we've heard that Andy is doing some paintings like this,' he said, 'Leo would like to see them. So, tell Andy to give us a call.'"1


When Carey told Warhol of Lichtenstein's paintings, Warhol thought Lichtenstein was copying his ideas.


Ted Carey:


"... So, I went home and called Andy - no, I think, I went right over to Andy's house... and so, I said, 'Prepare yourself for a shock.' And he said, 'What?' I said, 'Castelli has a closet full of comic paintings.' And he said, 'You're kidding?!' And he said, 'Who did them?' And I said, 'Somebody by the name of Lichtenstein.' Well, Andy turned white. He said, 'Roy Lichtenstein.' He said, 'Roy Lichtenstein used to... ' - as I remember, he used to be a sign painter for Bonwit Teller, and here's where I'm a little bit confused because Andy... couldn't get anybody to show his early cartoon paintings, so he went to Gene Moore and Gene Moore said, 'Well I can put the paintings in the windows...' He put them in the 57th Street window... As I remember, the implication was: Andy felt that Lichtenstein had seen the paintings in the window and gave him the idea to do his paintings. Now, whether this is true or not, I don't know, but at this time, this is what Andy had felt."2


Lichtenstein later denied that he had any knowledge of Warhol's comic strip paintings prior to doing his own:


Roy Lichtenstein:


"I saw Andy's work at Leo Castelli's about the same time I brought mine in, about the spring of 1961... Of course, I was amazed to see Andy's work because he was doing cartoons of Nancy and Dick Tracy and they were similar to mine."


Although Lichtenstein maintains that he saw Warhol's paintings at Castelli's gallery in "about" the Spring of 1961, Castelli did not have any Warhol paintings at that time. The only place they had been exhibited was in April 1961 in the windows of Bonwit Teller. Lichtenstein implies that Castelli was stocking Warhol's work prior to his own, whereas Carey's comments indicate the opposite - and Carey's comments are supported by the recollections of both Leo Castelli and Ivan Karp. Although Lichtenstein had been using comic book imagery in his paintings since 1957, he did not do large canvases reproducing single comic strip panels featuring speech balloons until he painted Look Mickey in the summer of 1961 4 months after he had, by his own admission, seen Warhol's canvases. Warhol had been painting single comic strip panels featuring speech balloons since 1960 - a year earlier than Lichtenstein. It is possible that Lichtenstein, as Warhol suspected, had seen Warhol's paintings at Bonwit Teller, although Lichtenstein never mentioned it in interviews. In any case, Lichtenstein admitted having seen Warhol's cartoon paintings prior to doing his own single panel comic strip paintings featuring speech balloons (Look Mickey) and it is possible he was influenced by Warhol's work.


Arthur Danto: The Windows at Bonwit Teller: Where Andy Became Andy Warhol

Tuesday December 2, 2008 at 7:00pm

Wexner Center for the Arts

1871 N High St

Columbus, Ohio 43210

In April 1961 Andy Warhol developed a window display for Bonwit Teller department store, in which his paintings based on newspaper ads and comics served as backdrops for fashionably dressed mannequins.


That moment became a crucial turning point in Warhol’s transition from commercial to "mainstream" artist—and it's the starting point for a new book by Arthur Danto (to be published in 2009 by Yale University Press). Danto, the author of Beyond the Brillo Box and one of the most celebrated scholars of contemporary art and philosophy, offers a "sneak preview" of his thoughts in this talk.


Danto serves as art critic for The Nation and editor for the Journal of Philosophy. The Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Columbia University, he is also the author of many well known books and essays, including After the End of Art and The Abuse of Beauty. Danto delivered our 2006 Lambert Lecture and is a member of the Wexner Center’s International Arts Advisory Council. We are delighted to welcome him back to Columbus and Ohio State.



Superman: The Original Superhero


Superman is the best known of all the superheroes for one simple reason—he was the first of the superheroes. His debut appearance was in the June 1938 issue of Action Comics (later known as DC Comics). Superman became the prototype for each and every superhero that was to follow after him.


Al Plastino (born 1921) is an American comic book artist best known as one of the most prolific Superman artists of the 1950s, along with his DC Comics colleague Wayne Boring. Plastino also worked as a comics writer, editor, letterer, and colorist.



Interested in art since grade school, Plastino won several prizes hosted by Youth Today magazine, which hired Plastino when he was 17. Plastino later did work for Funnies Inc., where he "helped out" Bill Everett with Sub-Mariner. His earliest known credited comic-book work is as penciler-inker of the cover of Novelty Press' Blue Bolt Comics vol. 3, #9 (Feb. 1943). Before the war, Plastino also inked some issues of Captain America.


In 1941, Plastino designed an airplane that resembled the space shuttle, and eventually showed a model of it and blueprints to Grumman Aircraft executives. Drafted shortly afterward, he spent much of World War II assigned to the graphic arts office in The Pentagon, drawing war posters and producing them in silkscreen. He was next assigned to the Adjutant General's Office, working on illustrations for U.S. Army training manuals. He continued working on these after the war, while with Steinberg Studios. He also began taking on comic book art and commercial graphics.


comic pop art superman

ენდი უორჰოლი


Deconstructing Roy Lichtenstein


Mort Weisinger (1915-1978) was an American Jewish author, editor of DC Comics' Superman and contributing editor for This Week Magazine.

Born in New York and raised in the Bronx, Weisinger was active in early science fiction fan clubs and fanzines; while still in high school he and several friends, including science fiction guru Forrest Ackerman, co-founded The Time Traveler, the first 'zine to focus entirely on science fiction. Weisinger attended, but did not graduate from, New York University, leaving in 1934 to start Solar Sales Service, an agency for science fiction writers and artists.

In March 1941 Weisinger took a job with National Periodicals which later became DC Comics. Apart from a brief absence to serve in the Special Services during World War II, Weisinger remained at DC for more than thirty years. Among his achievements with DC were the creation of Aquaman, Green Arrow and Johnny Quick, and of the Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen spin-off series. He served as editor for Superman (creating such key elements as the effect of the yellow sun on Kryptonians and the Phantom Zone), Batman, and other important comics, and as editor for the Superman television series starring George Reeves. Near the end of his tenure he was named vice president of public relations for the company.


سوبرمان العدد الاول


Andy Warhol Superman




It’s time for a little Art History Lesson…


~ February 1961

Andy Warhol begins a series of Comic Book and Advertising paintings.


~ Warhol completes a number of works on canvas - Five of these were then displayed at Bonwit Teller in mid- April 1961… This Included Superman, The Little King, Saturday’s Popeye, Advertisement & Before and After.


~ Warhol’s Comic Book and Advertising paintings were completed six months before Roy Lichtenstein began using identical imagery.


~ Late July / Early August 1961

Lichtenstein paints Look Mickey, Popeye, and Wimpy.


~ Andy Warhol always believed that Lichtenstein saw his series of

paintings at Bonwit Teller... And stole his original ideas.


Roy Lichtenstein stole the entire concept from Andy Warhol. Andy completed a series of Comic and Advertising paintings six months before Lichtenstein. I have often wondered why the Fine Arts establishment never questioned Lichtenstein about this.


How does a second-rate abstract expressionist do a complete stylistic turnaround virtually overnight ? Lichtenstein ripped-off Warhol's idea and ran with it... On every level, Roy Lichtenstein was nothing more than a common thief.


David Barsalou MFA

Deconstructing Roy Lichtenstein


~ Art Historian Patrick Smith


"I once confronted Roy Lichtenstein on the Bonwit Teller paintings back in the 1980's.

I was teaching at North Texas State and brought my Pop Art Seminar to the opening of Roy's german expressionism paintings at the Fort Worth Art Museum.


During the Q & A , I said..."now, you started your comic strip paintings during the summer of '1961 ? "yes", well did you ever see Andy Warhol's paintings at Bonwit Teller during April of 1961 ? "


He then stared back at me wide-eyed, and practically shouted "NO!"… I then turned to the kids and said…"That proves it...he did see them".


Alex Saviuk

There is a contingent of artists who will not go and see a DC/MARVEL movie because they feel that some creators are getting ripped off by not sharing even in a small amount of the wealth that these characters are bestowing upon Hollywood studios. Lichenstein individually made a fortune by actually stealing these panels and passing them on as modern pop art--just goes to show us continuously how blind the rich elite are with their exhibits and how easily they can be swayed by the right hype and PR…


Dear Mr. Barsalou, I am writing my master's thesis about comic imagery in art and the influence of Superman on German art of the 1980s. In one chapter I would like to include the template (from Superman's Girls Friend, Lois lane #24 of Kurt Schaffenberger) which Andy Warhol used for his work 'Superman' from 1961. On I found the original comic with your name and so I found out about your brilliant project. Could and would you send me the original comic image without your credit on it ? Thank you for your time. Greetings from Germany Runa Pohl

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Taken on September 5, 2000