A letter to Andy Warhol from the Campbell's Soup Company

A letter to Andy Warhol from the Campbell’s Soup Company

This letter has been passed around the art blogs like a football at Steelers training camp, but we thought there’s no place more deserving of another repost than yours truly.

TheDarkEngine – In 1964, the Campbell’s Soup Co. sent Andy Warhol a fan letter. Today it would be a cease and desist letter. http://bit.ly/9UH2J9

TheDarkEngine makes a valid point. The original Campbell’s Soup Cans exhibit consisted of 32 separate canvases with each one displaying a different flavor of canned soup (that was also how many varieties of canned soup were available from Campbell’s at the time). Today, that might have been 32 counts of copyright infringement. How did he know all of the flavors? According to a blurb on the gallery description at MoMA, the artist referred “to a product list supplied by Campbell’s” – which indicates that he must have discussed the idea with the company before he started working on it. Rumor has it that Warhol really liked soup.

Thanks @Diggingpitt for the tip (via @TheDarkEngine via M thru F via TheDailyWhat via Letters of Note who credited the Billy Name collection on WarholStars. Whew!

What the letter says:

Campbell Soup Company
Camden 1, New Jersey

May 19, 1964

Mr. A. Warhol
1342 Lexington Avenue
New York, New York

Dear Mr. Warhol:

I have followed your career for some time. Your work has evoked a great deal of interest here at Campbell Soup Company for obvious reasons.

At one time I had hoped to be able to acquire one of your Campbell Soup label paintings – but I’m afraid you have gotten much too expensive for me.

I did want to tell you, however, that we admired your work and I have since learned that you like Tomato Soup. I am taking the liberty of having a couple of cases of our Tomato Soup delivered to you at this address.

We wish you continued success and good fortune.


William P. MacFarland

William P. MacFarland
Product Marketing Manager

Campbell's Soup Cans by Andy Warhol (via richdrogpa on flickr)

Campbell’s Soup Cans by Andy Warhol (via richdrogpa on flickr)