Why Warhol painted soup cans

In 1962, Andy Warhol exhibited his famous Campbell's Soup Cans paintings for the first time and cemented his place as a Pop Art powerhouse. Previously, Warhol had bridged his commercial and fine art efforts with paintings based on comic strips and advertisements, but he (rightly) felt that style had already been done by Lichtenstein and others. So why soup cans? Smithsonian has the story in an excerpt from Blake Gopnik's new book Warhol. From Smithsonian:

Warhol’s final breakthrough into ’60s Pop came through an accidental inspiration from a minor dealer on the New York scene named Muriel Latow. She was a flamboyant decorator, three years younger than Warhol, and had hopes of becoming a serious art dealer. Latow has gone down in history as Pop Art’s most important, if accidental, muse. As the story is told—in one of its many, mostly incompatible versions—Latow went to a dinner at Warhol’s house in the fall of ’61 to console him for having been one-upped by Oldenburg and Lichtenstein and others. “The cartoon paintings...it’s too late,” Warhol is supposed to have said. “I’ve got to do something that really will have a lot of impact, that will be different enough from Lichtenstein.” He begged his guests for ideas, and Latow came up with one, but wouldn’t deliver until Warhol handed over a check for $50. “You’ve got to find something that’s recognizable to almost everybody,” she said. “Something you see every day that everybody would recognize. Something like a can of Campbell’s Soup.”

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The Loch Ness Ladle is real

I'm not usually one for gimmicky kitchen gadgets but OTOTO's Nessie Ladle is cryptozoological comedy genius. Also available as a Sweet Nessie Spoon! (Amazon)

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Campbell Soup Co. fires exec who tweeted racist Soros #MigrantCaravan conspiracy

M'm! M'm! Good! Tweeting conspiracy theories about George Soros is bad for your career. Just ask Campbell's Soup Company former vice president of government affairs, Kelly Johnston. Read the rest

Campbell's Soup Exec Writes to Andy Warhol

Marylin Terrell writes in:

The product marketing manager for Campbell Soup wrote this delightfully jargon-free letter to Andy Warhol in 1964 after Warhol rocked the art world with his silk-screen portraits of Campbell Soup. Instead of threatening to sue for copyright infringement, the exec sent Warhol a couple of cases of tomato soup.

Read the rest at Letters of Note: I hear you like Tomato Soup [via Holykaw] Read the rest