Andy Warhol | Red Airmail Stamp | 1962
Acrylic and pencil on linen 6 x 6 in. (15.2 x 15.2 cm).
© 2021 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
The Tremaines purchased Red Airmail Stamp for just sixty dollars from the Martha Jackson Gallery in 1962. The painting on linen was produced just as Warhol sought to establish himself as a serious artist, moving away from his previous work as a commercial illustrator. Appropriating the classic 7-cent stamp then in use, the artist elevated a commonplace image of consumerism, blowing up a single stamp rather than leaving it in its smaller bulk form as he did with S & H Green Stamps, two versions of which the Tremaines also owned. Already recognized as major collectors of contemporary art, their patronage of the then relatively unknown Andy Warhol helped propel him to the top of the art world. He was so thankful that one Christmas morning, he left a small gold Marilyn Monroe leaning against the Tremaines' front door.