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Rare cookbook by Andy Warhol goes to auction

By March 16, 2021Arty, News

A rare cookbook by Andy Warhol will be up for auction later this month.

The self-published, tongue-in-cheek recipe book parodies the extravagant 1950’s recipes, making fun of the somewhat strange and pretentious cookbooks seen at the time.

Wild Raspberries was created by Warhol with the help of classic interior designer Suzie Frankfurt in 1959.

Warhol illustrated the parody recipes such as “Omlet Greta Garbo”, with Frankfurt’s text explaining that the meal must “always to be eaten alone in a candlelit room”, and “Seared Roebuck” with a note to say how important it is that “roebuck shot in ambush is infinitely better than roebuck killed after a chase.”

Warhol’s own mother, Julia, did the calligraphy and four young boys who were neighbours of Warhol, coloured the illustrations.

Only 34 copies were created, with many just given away to friends of Warhol and Frankfurt but recently a signed copy has been unearthed.

The copy belonged to the fashion editor DD Ryan and will be up for auction at Bonhams in New York  in March 2021 for an estimated $30,000-$50,000 (£21,600-£36,100).

“The books perfectly capture the puckish nature of much of Warhol’s work,” said Darren Sutherland at Bonhams. “[They] were done in the spirit of fun, with a bit of self-promotion, and often given as Christmas gifts to friends and his graphic design clients. A few sold through his favourite ice cream shop Serendipity, which moonlighted as an art gallery. They are a wonderful glimpse into a playfulness that follows him throughout his development as an artist.”

Suzie Frankfurt described Wild Raspberries as “a funny cookbook for people who don’t cook” in an interview.

“My mother, who was a hostess sine qua non, deemed the most important thing for a new bride was to be a good hostess. I wanted to emulate my mother, of course, and it was the year all these French cookbooks came out. I tried to make sense of them. ‘Make a béchamel sauce,’ they’d say. I didn’t even know what that was. So we did the book, Andy with his Dr Martin’s dyes and Mrs Warhol, her calligraphy. She was gifted and untutored, and we left all the spelling mistakes. I wrote the recipes.”

Frankfurt explained how she and Warhol “thought it would be a masterpiece and we’d sell thousands,” she said. “I think we sold 20.”

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