alexandra bajew


Cats by Warhol

I recently made it to the Andy Warhol: By the Book exhibit at the Blanton Museum. I've always been a big fan of Warhol, as I am very intrigued by his life and how many different things he managed to do in his lifetime–designer, painter, movie director, etc. The exhibit did not disappoint. There was an almost overwhelming amount of work being shown, with an emphasis on his books. I love the "more is more" aspect of his work and philosophy.

...But what I love even more is how much he loved cats.

Above are some images from his book 25 Cats Named Sam and One Blue Cat. The book featured illustrations of cats by Andy Warhol (which were hand-colored and given mostly as gifts) and calligraphy by Julia Warhola, his mother, which leads to a very interesting story I overheard from a passing museum tour-guide.

So, here goes, Andy Warhol had moved to New York and was trying to make a living as a children's book illustrator, but struggling to make ends meet. His mother, with whom he was apparently quite close, when hearing of his troubles, boarded a bus from Pittsburg to New York City. She moved into Andy Warhol's tiny apartment. 


Their shared love of felines led them to concoct a plan to breed kittens to sell to pet stores. The problem was, they never actually sold them. They decided to keep them all.

...And also name them all Sam. 

These are the events that led to the collaboration of 25 Cats Named Sam and One Blue Cat

Alexandra Bajew