Title: Scotch Broth, from the portfolio Campbell's Soup II
Color screenprint on paper
Dimensions: Image: 31 3/4 x 18 1/2 inches (80.6 x 47 cm);
Sheet: 35 1/4 x 23 inches (89.5 x 58.4 cm)
The Class of 1951 Collection of Contemporary American Prints
Object Number: 76.049.002
This print from Warhol’s 1969 Campbell’s Soup II series has a fascinating connection to Cornell. Mickey Ruskin, who probably received this print from Warhol himself, graduated from Cornell first with his BA in Arts and Sciences in 1954, and then from Cornell Law School in 1958. He moved to New York City and started practicing law, but quickly gave that up when he opened a coffee shop, followed in succession by other bars and restaurants, the most famous of which was Max’s Kansas City, which was across the street from Warhol’s studio and where Warhol himself soon became a regular. Ruskin accepted payment for bill and bar tabs in art, which though eventually unsustainable developed an incredible collection. In 1969, Ruskin loaned a number of works, including this series, to what was then the Andrew Dickson White Museum of Art, Cornell’s precursor to the Johnson Museum.
Ruskin used his art as collateral for a loan from Seymour Kaback, an air-conditioning magnate and founder of the Mercer Arts Center. By 1976 Kaback foreclosed on the loan, took possession of the art, and sold some of the 1969 loan objects to the Johnson.
The colors for the Campbell’s Soup label, already a well-known image in the 1960s, were inspired by Cornell’s football uniforms. In 1898 Herberton L. Williams, an executive for the company saw a Cornell v. University of Pennsylvania football game at UPenn. Drawn to the carnelian and white colors, he convinced the company to use them for their label. ("This is no Less Curious: Journeys through the Collection" cocurated by Sonja Gandert, Alexandra Palmer, and Alana Ryder and presented at the Johnson Museum January 24 - April 12, 2015)
NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.