As product marketing manager for Campbell’s, William MacFarland must have been overjoyed with the incredible public reaction to Andy Warhol‘s first exhibition as a fine artist in 1962, as present at the gallery was his now world-famous Campbell’s Soup Cans piece: 32 silkscreened portraits, each representing a different variety of the company’s soup product, all arranged in a single line. The work provoked huge debate in all corners of the art world and helped bring the Pop art movement to the masses; all the while holding a certain brand in the limelight.
In 1964, as Warhol’s star continued to rise, MacFarland decided to make his pleasure known to the artist by way of the following letter. Some complimentary cans of soup soon followed.
Recommended reading: The Philosophy of Andy Warhol : (From A to B and Back Again).
Campbell SOUP Company
CAMDEN 1, NEW JERSEY
May 19, 1964
Mr. A. Warhol
1342 Lexington Avenue
New York, New York
Dear Mr. Warhol:
I have followed your career for some time. Your work has evoked a great deal of interest here at Campbell Soup Company for obvious reasons.
At one time I had hoped to be able to acquire one of your Campbell Soup label paintings – but I’m afraid you have gotten much too expensive for me.
I did want to tell you, however, that we admired your work and I have since learned that you like Tomato Soup. I am taking the liberty of having a couple of cases of our Tomato Soup delivered to you at this address.
We wish you continued success and good fortune.
(Signed, ‘William P. MacFarland’)
William P. MacFarland
Product Marketing Manager