November 23, 2009

Andy Warhol's Other Children's Books

warhol_hen_bloomsbury.jpg

The upcoming illustration auction at Bloomsbury New York includes some very interesting stuff. Least interesting among them: a collection of some of the children's anthologies from the late 1950s which include stories illustrated by Andy Warhol.

Warhol was still in his commercial artist for hire phase in 1957-59 when he signed on to do work for Doubleday's Best in Children's Books series. Warhol did art for at least five volumes in the series; the auction includes four, Vols 5, 15, 27 and 33. [At least one two other volumes, Nos. 7 and 21, also include Warhol drawings.]

For future collecting reference, here are the known Warholian contents of the BICB series:


  • Vol. 5: "Funny Words and Riddles"

  • Vol. 7: "Homemade Orchestra" (pp.109-117)

  • Vol. 15: "The Little Red Hen" [9 color illustrations]

  • Vol. 21: "The Magic Porridge Pot" [color illustrations]

  • Vol. 27: "Card Games Are Fun" [19 red/blk illustrations, 1 full page]

  • Vol. 33: "Sophocles the Hyena" [11 illustrations]

The estimate of $500-600 would be plenty to buy the all the books individually and still have enough left over for a quick trip to Pittsburgh.

Not that I'd encourage it--the books, I mean, not Pittsburgh. The pictures are just kind of OK to me. If you want a real Warhol children's book, go for the boardbook he published himself in 1983.

Dec. 9, Lot 253. WARHOL, Andy (1928 - 1987) Best in Children's Books, est $500-600 [bloomsburyauctions.com]
GlyphJockey has scans of Warhol's Little Red Hen pages, but his server is Kottke-bombed right now. [glyphjockey.com via kottke]
Search for Warhol's Best in Children's Books on Abebooks or Amazon, 58 copies, $5-200 [abebooks, amazon]
Previously: Andy Warhol's children's book

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