Andy Warhol: Bio and Cat Art of Siamese Hester and 25 Sam

Andy Warhol — king of Pop Art who is widely known by his product designs and for his trademark, silver hair. His unique philosophy on art and business is quite attractive. Warhol’s companions, Hester the Siamese cat and 25 cats all named Sam kept inspiring him.

Andy Warhol: Bio and Cat Art of Siamese Hester and 25 Sam

Andy Warhol Cats painting

Andy Warhol Cats (

Andy Warhol

The young Andrew Warhola, 1933

The young Andrew Warhola, 1933 (Photo credit: Courtesy of the Warhola Family) (phindie)

Warhol was born on August 6, 1928 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to parents who were Slovakian immigrants. They were devout Byzantine Catholics and maintained much of their culture of Slovakia and heritage.

At the age of 8, Warhol contracted Chorea — also known as St. Vitus’s Dance — usually affecting all four limbs with uncoordinated jerking movements. While Warhol had to stay in bed for several months, his mother Julia, who was an embroiderer gave him his first drawing lessons. He was mesmerized by drawing and at the age of 9 when Julia bought him a camera, he he took up photography as well, developing a film in a makeshift darkroom he set up in their basement. Warhol later described this period as very important in the development of his personality, skill-set and preferences.

At the age of 14, his father Ondrej Warhola died, he had recognized his son’s artistic talents and in his will he dictated that his life savings go toward Warhol’s college education. He once hoped to be an art teacher, but he enrolled in the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, where he studied commercial art.

Siamese Hester and 25 Sam

Andy Warhol with Cat Photography by Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol with Cat Photography by Andy Warhol (AnOther)

Warhol originally had a single cat named Hester. Thought Hester would be lonely without other furry friends, Warhol brought an additional cat who he named Sam. Each opportunity he grabbed, he brought a cat back home, eventually reached to 25. Except Hester, all the other cats named Sam.

Warhol cat

Warhol Cat (Moderncat)

Warhol’s love of cats began at an early age and was fueled by his mother Julia’s own appreciation for the species. Indeed, during the pair’s residency at Warhol’s Carnegie Hill townhouse throughout the 1950s and 60s, they surrounded themselves with cats, all of which were named Sam except for one named Hester.

It was during this period that Warhol self-published his book 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy (1954), a series of ink wash cat portraits, as well as a book of Julia’s cat drawings entitled Holy Cats by Andy Warhol’s Mother. He painted them each as individual as if they were humans.

ANDY WARHOL 25 Cats Named Sam and One Blue Pussy

25 Cats Named Sam and One Blue Pussy (f.&s.IV.52–68)

King of Pop Art

Andy Warhol silkscreen Marilyn Monroe

Andy Warhol silkscreen Marilyn Monroe (ONGALLERY)

Warhol moved to New York after he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in pictorial design in 1949. He began a career in magazine illustration and advertising, and in the late 1950s, he began devoting more attention to painting. He adapted the silk screen printmaking process as a technique for making paintings.

Andy Warhol yellow colored Liz Taylor

Andy Warhol’s Liz #1 (Early Colored Liz) (Sotheby’s)

Warhol had a positive view of ordinary culture and the Campbell’s Soup Can series expressed his positive view of modern culture. It proved the banalest and even vulgar trappings of modern civilization can, when transposed to canvas, become Art.

Andy Warhol, The Campbell’s soup can

Andy Warhol, The Campbell’s soup can (PARK AVENUE ARMORY)

Making money is art. And working is art. And good business is the best art.

Andy Warhol Quotes (goodreads)

The Factory

Andy Warhol in The Factory. Photo via Phaidon

Andy Warhol in The Factory. Photo via Phaidon. (Untapped Cities)

In 1964, Warhol opened his own art studio, a large silver-painted warehouse. Known by name of The Factory quickly became one of New York City’s hot cultural spots, brought together distinguished intellectuals, drag queens, playwrights, Bohemian street people, Hollywood celebrities, and wealthy patrons.

Andy Warhol and people at the Factory

Bottom left, from left, Gerard Malanga, Joseph Freeman, Andy Warhol, Rene Ricard (with back to camera) and unidentified man in the Silver Factory, 1966 (WNYC)

In this period, Warhol began using to make paintings of iconic American objects such as dollar bills, mushroom clouds, electric chairs, Campbell’s Soup Cans, Coca-Cola bottles, celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor.

Andy Warhol and Bob Dylan at the Factory

A photograph by Nat Finkelstein shows Bob Dylan visiting Andy Warhol at the Factory in 1966. Credit Nat Finkelstein/Retna (The New York Times)

Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.

Andy Warhol quotes (goodreads)

The Andy Warhol Museum

The Andy Warhol Museum, front facade, 1994

The Andy Warhol Museum, front facade, 1994, photo by Paul Rocheleau. (The Andy Warhol Museum)

Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1895, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four distinctive museums dedicated to exploration through art and science: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Warhol.
 The Andy Warhol Museum is one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh

The collection includes 900 paintings; approximately 100 sculptures; nearly 2,000 works on paper; more than 1,000 published and unique prints; and 4,000 photographs. commercial illustrations and sketchbooks; 1960s Pop paintings of consumer products (Campbell’s Soup Cans), celebrities (Liz, Jackie, Marilyn, Elvis).

Silver Cloud by Andy Warhol

Silver Cloud (Andy Warhol) (Silverecord)

The idea is not to live forever, it is to create something that will.

Andy Warhol quotes (goodreads)

You can check Warhol’s cat products from the Warhol Store.


Andy Warhol Biography (Bio)
 the warhol: (The Andy Warhol Museum)
 Andy Warhol (Wikipedia)
 Andy Warhol’s Cats and Dogs (AnOther)
 Andy Warhol’s Greatest Love: Cats (ARTSY)

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Originally published at Johnny Times.

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