$300 invoice for Consumer Reports illustrations


An invoice by Andy Warhol addressed to a certain “Mr. Grove, Consumers Report”, found in the archives of the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh during my visit and research a few years ago, drew my attention. Consumer Reports (typically misspelled by Warhol) was (and still is!) a magazine by a nonprofit consumer organization, doing independent product testing and giving consumer advice.

Invoice by Andy Warhol to “mr grove, consumers report”, dated october 22 1954.

To my knowledge no Warhol illustrations for this magazine were known, so I was curious and bought a few different copies of Consumer Reports from the year 1954. And bingo! It turns out all drawings listed, for a total of $300, were published in one and the same issue: the November 1954 Christmas Buying Issue.

Warhol’s name is not mentioned nor credited anywhere in the issue, which is the reason a magazine like this, with really great Warhol illustrations, can remain undiscovered for ages. Glad I was able to help rescue it from oblivion.

It also clearly shows how well paid Warhol was as an illustrator, in 1954. $75 each for three large drawings, and $25 each for two smaller ones. A total sum of $300, for just one publication. All drawings are in Warhol’s signature blotted line technique. The larger drawings are: a magnificent, joyful drawing of jazz musicians, accompanying an article about new jazz record releases; a drawing of two pairs of skies, superimposed on travel agency posters of ski resorts, accompanying the article ‘A guide to buy ski equipment’; and drawings of hands exchanging gifts, and gift boxes ready to put under the Christmas tree. The smaller drawings show: two hands holding what seems to be a Rolleiflex camera, and children reading a book.

The magazine is one of the many items on view at my exhibition Andy Warhol: From Ads To Books And Back Again, opening on Friday Oct 28 in Antwerp, Belgium, and runs until November 20th.

musicians …………………. $ 75
skies …………………. $ 75
2 drawing christmas gifts …………………. $ 75
camera …………………. $ 40
children with books ……………….. $ 35

2 thoughts on “$300 invoice for Consumer Reports illustrations”

  1. Yvan Vanmol says:

    Geweldige collectie man!En wat een devotie.
    Ik verzamel homo-erotische en drag tekeningen uit de jaren 50.
    We bezoeken je tentoonstelling zondag namiddag en ik zou het geweldig vinden je daar te ontmoeten.


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