Andy Warhol arrived in Manhattan in the summer of 1949 as a graduate in Pictorial Design from the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh. He was born (August 6th 1928) in Pittsburgh and spent his childhood there. His parents were working-class immigrants from Slovakia.
His first job was drawing shoes for the fashion pages for Glamour magazine and famously illustrating an article called Success is a Job in New York.
In 1952 Hugo Gallery presented his first solo exhibition with Fifteen Drawings Based on the Writings of Truman Capote. His blotted line technique proved a hit with art directors and he soon was regularly commissioned by Esquire and Harper’s Bazaar. He created drawings for I. Miller advertisements and art work for the windows of Bonwit Teller. He was also commissioned by Columbia Records and Tiffany & Co. The ‘a’ at the end of Warhola was dropped as part of this gradual self promotion and self invention and he quickly became one of the most sought-after illustrators in America. He set up Andy Warhol Enterprises Inc. to handle his business and by late 1959 had moved to a stylish townhouse on Lexington Avenue with his mother who was co-opted into service, producing the distinctive decorative calligraphy that adorned much of his work.
The 1960s saw Warhol develop into the world’s foremost Pop Artist as he concentrated on producing paintings, photographs, prints, films and videos and his very own Interview magazine. The body of work Warhol created in this period is now considered to be amongst the most important and influential in the post war era. He seldom discussed his pre-Pop career.
On February 22nd 1987, while in recovery from a routine gall bladder surgery, Warhol died. Plans to house The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh were announced in 1989, two years after the establishment of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in New York.