Warhol Foundation

Ana B. Remos

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts is selling part of its collection in an effort to boost their scholarship fund. Christie´s New York will be in charge of several auctions in the coming months. The mission of the Foundation, created in 1987 (the year of Warhol´s death), is the advancement of the visual arts. Unfortunately, cuts in art subsidies and a decline in private donations have forced them to put the pieces on the market, according to its president, Joel Wachs.

Amy Cappellazzo, chairman of post war and contemporary development at Christie´s, acknowledged the enthusiasm with which they had received the works. Information about the auction has caused much excitement among the many admirers of the artist´s work, especially the new collectors from Russia, China, the Middle East, the European Union and the Americas.

The first auction on Monday November 12, grossed nearly $17 million. The Foundation will donate the proceeds from the sale of more than 20,000 works to grant scholarships that promote art.

1. Endangered Species: San Francisco Silverspot. Price Realized: $1,258,500
2. Endangered Species: Bighorn Ram. Price Realized: $842,500.

Among the pieces up for sale are works that date from Warhol’s early years as an illustrator, photographs taken with his Polaroid, numerous paintings, and works that had not sold at the time of his death. The Foundation expects to raise more than $100 million. The first auction included 356 works. Many had never been shown in public, and the Foundation hoped to get a better price for those lots.

Endangered Species: San Francisco Silverspot, from the series Endangered Species, sold for $1, 05 million. Endangered Species: Bighorn Ram, another work from the same series, went for $842.500.

The big stars of the night were two pieces depicting the likeness of Jacqueline Kennedy: a silk screen print sold for $520,000— the price had been estimated between $200,000 and $300,000—and a photograph that showed her expressive face raised $260,000. The auction house had appraised its value to be between $150,000 and $250,000.

ANDY WARHOL. Jacqueline Kennedy II. Price Realized: $314,500.

However, and perhaps because the collectors were not entirely thrilled with the works brought to auction, many of the works for which there were higher expectations (between 0.8 and 1 million dollars minimum price) found no buyer, such as Three Targets and a portrait in negative of Linda Cossley. Christie’s expected to receive between one and one and a half million dollars for each.

The same happened with Piss Painting, appraised between $800,000 and 1.2 million, or Warhol´s photographs of Paloma Picasso, Marisa Berenson, Tatum O’Neal, Paulette Goddard, and artist Keith Haring with Juan Dubose, which failed to sell.

The November auction will be followed by another online auction in February 2013, and subsequent sales during the next few years. The February online sale marks only the second time Christie’s conducts an auction on the Internet. The first was the sale of objects belonging to Liz Taylor.

ANDY WARHOL. Enna Jetticks. Price Realized: $206,500.

Several pieces will be bequeathed to museums, following the course initiated a year ago when the Foundation donated more than 4,000 pieces from Warhol´s legacy to launch the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, his hometown. Warhol was born Andrew Warhola Jr. on August 6th, 1928 to a family of immigrants from Slovakia.

Through all of this, the Foundation aims to make Andy Warhol´s work more accessible to the public, and at the same time, provide a venue for new talents in the visual arts.


The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

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