Andy Warhol Museum Acquires Early Paint By Numbers Work

Andy Warhol

The Andy Warhol Museum has announced that it has acquired an early and important Warhol Pop art painting to add to its collection. Warhol’s Do It Yourself (Sailboats), painted in 1962, is one of five paintings in existence from this rare hand-painted, paint-by number series. The Warhol’s collection previously did not include an example of this seminal series and moment in Warhol’s earliest experimentations with pop imagery. 

This 72 ¼ x 100-inch painting harkens to Warhol’s interest in providing audiences with instantly identifiable imagery from everyday life. Of the remaining paintings from this series, three are in institution collections in Europe, and one is in a private collection. Other imagery depicted in this series include a seascape, violin, landscape (autumn scene), and flowers. 

The painting was first exhibited in 1962 at Stable Gallery in New York, the gallery that first exhibited Warhol’s work. 

“Thanks to this painting and others like it, Warhol in so many ways democratized vision and opened the door for anything to be considered a subject in a work of art,” says Eric Shiner, The Warhol’s director. “Warhol posits that a dime store painting, replete with instructions on exactly how to paint, where to paint, and with what colors to paint, is just as legitimate a subject as anything else. We’re thrilled to have this key work in our collection, and we thank Gagosian Gallery for its assistance in making this acquisition possible.” 

“I am delighted to have been able to help The Andy Warhol Museum obtain this seminal painting. It exemplifies an essential part of Warhol’s legacy, and it will be a powerful addition to the museum’s already impressive collection,” says Larry Gagosian. 

When evaluating its overall collection, The Warhol identified this particular series of paintings as essential to its mission and commitment to telling the story of Warhol’s practice and method, and their contexts in art history. To achieve the goal of acquiring a painting from the Do It Yourself series, despite not having an acquisition fund, The Warhol with its museum board and Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh leadership, after thoughtful deliberation made the decision to de-accession paintings from its collection. Following industry guidelines and procedures, several pieces from the museum’s collection were traded for this new work. These deaccessioned works were all from series in the museum’s collection which were already well represented. 

Warhol’s Do It Yourself (Sailboats) will be on view to the public beginning June 28, 2016.

Image: Andy Warhol, Do It Yourself (Sailboat), 1962, © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.