Warhol treasured signed photo from Shirley Temple
The flickering images on the movie screens wove their early magic for young Andy Warhol on Saturday outings with his older brothers.
The films of an equally young Shirley Temple — they were born the same year, 1928 — seemed to have special resonance for Warhol, who asked one of his older siblings to write her for an autographed photo.
He wanted to add it to the scrapbook he was filling of movie star autographs and photos, an early indication of his interest in celebrity and fame.
Temple honored the request, signing it, “To Andrew Worhola (sic) from Shirley Temple.” Warhol dated it “1941” on the back. He was 13.
The image — which The Andy Warhol Museum tweeted upon news of the death of Shirley Temple Black — is not on display in the museum on the North Shore but will be in May.
Warhol was drawn to the glamour of celebrity and the fact these stars were living the American dream, wealthy and famous, said Geralyn Huxley, curator of film and video at the museum.
“That's what he wanted to be. He grew up poor as a child. In the case of Shirley Temple, she was rich, loved, taken care of, plus she was a child like him,” Huxley said. “When her films came out, it was the ultimate escape from the Depression that was going on. (Her movies) were emblematic of the American spirit as she soldiered on through adversity, standing up to authority.”
While Warhol never painted Shirley Temple, Huxley said, he did recognize her in naming his 1965 film, “Poor Little Rich Girl,” about his favorite superstar, Edie Sedgwick, after one of Temple's classic films.
Shirley Temple Black visited Pittsburgh in a non-film role in May 1979 as a speaker in the University of Pittsburgh's American Experience Distinguished Lecture Series. Black, ambassador to Czechoslovakia at the time, spoke about “Rights and Obligations: Our Gordian Knot.”
The late Robert G. Hazo, director of the series, Pitt archivists report, had called her “the all-time series charmer.”
For Hazo, Pitt reports, the highlight of her lecture occurred when she emphasized a statement by raising her right arm and leg simultaneously — a distinctive gesture that Hazo recalled from her movies.
“She was charming, very accommodating, and all the old-timers came to see her,” Hazo said at the time. “But as a serious lecture on a political or economic or social issue, I'd give it maybe a C-plus.”
Rex Rutkoski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4664 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- NFL coaches weigh in on Polamalu’s legacy
- Hit sends Penguins’ Letang to hospital
- Mt. Lebanon native, Iraq war hero’s action goes unrewarded
- Shortfalls sabotage promise of a union retiree’s pension
- Starkey: Next frontier for Steelers offense
- Pirates pitchers finding success with expanded strike zone
- Probiotic bacteria help conquer ‘superbugs’
- Man rescued from sinkhole in McKeesport
- Downie’s goal, fight spark Penguins to win over Coyotes
- Pirates notebook: Polanco’s power outburst a matter of timing
- Alvarez latest in Pirates’ revolving door at first base