The speciality of record label Caedmon was literature and spoken word, preferably read by the author in person. Andy Warhol delivered a beautiful illustration for the cover of ‘Tennessee Williams reading from The Glass Menagerie, The Yellow Bird and Five poems’. Warhol’s cover art is used only from the 4th printing onward (1960). The recording itself was made in June 1953. Most of the drawings on the cover were very likely executed in 1957. The original drawing for the album cover was on view at the exhibition ‘From Silverpoint to Silver screen’, in Copenhagen, 2012. Two colour variations of the cover exist. Calligraphy by Julia Warhola, Andy’s mother.
Three of the blotted line drawings on this cover can also be found in Warhol’s ‘A Gold Book’ (1957): the sleeping girl, the little boy top right on the cover, and the bird. In a Schiaparelli ad for Vogue Warhol also drew a unicorn – not exactly the same unicorn as on the LP cover – but also 1957.
Warhol met Tennessee Williams several times. The eccentric writer, world famous for his plays The Glass Menagerie, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and A Streetcar Named Desire, loved a good party, and was also a close friend of fellow writer Truman Capote.
After Williams’ sudden death in February 1983, Warhol painted two portraits of him. They were published in Playboy Magazine (Jan 1984), to illustrate a personal memoir, written by Truman Capote.
A year later, in 1985, one of the portraits was chosen to be the cover image of the book ‘Collected Stories’ by Tennessee Williams.