I Want to Die with My Blue Jeans On!

Explore Pop Artist Warhol’s Love of the West

Even ardent fans of American artist, director, and producer Andy Warhol aren’t likely aware that the Pop icon loved the West.  He wore cowboy boots (many paints splattered) most days and traveled often to New Mexico, Texas and Colorado, areas where he acquired some of his vast personal collection of western art, pottery, photographs, artifacts, fashion, and accessories.

Andy Warhol cowboys and indians

Warhol’s West explores Pop artist Andy Warhol’s fascination with the American West. The exhibition presents a wide range of Western imagery and more by Warhol, including his last major suite Cowboys and Indians (1986). Famous faces in the series include Geronimo, Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull, and Theodore Roosevelt. These works of art reveal Warhol’s process and some of the most understudied aspects of the artist’s career.

Andy Warhol

Warhol’s West introduces the range of western imagery Warhol produced. Selected works examine how Warhol’s western work merges the artist’s portrayal of celebrities with his interest in cowboys, American Indians, and western motifs. His work in the western genre is immediately recognizable, impressive, daring, inspirational, and sometimes confrontational. This body of work furthers our understanding of how the American West infiltrates the public’s imagination through contemporary art and popular culture. This exhibit will be one display through January 9, 2022 .

I want to die with my blue jeans on.

-Andy Warhol

Cowboys and Indians juxtaposes images of pop culture’s mythic West with Warhol’s interpretations of 19th century history, all in his signature style. Pop art was hailed during its heyday as purely American. Warhol himself regularly told interviewers he was as American as they come. And there are few things as uniquely American as the people and cultures of the West. Determining Warhol’s intent or social commentary is difficult, if not impossible, as he insisted that the surface was all there was. But his art does seem to go deeper, with nuances and complexities to discover. What is clear is, Warhol’s ability to find subjects that hold meaning still today, a reminder that the American West and its myths have influenced and inspired people through a turbulent past into a dynamic present and shared future. 

Inspired by the Warhol Exhibit? Fun is in Your Future!

warhols WEST

Drop by our studio for some hands-on artmaking. Learn more about the process Andy Warhol used to
create his colorful Pop art prints. Make a silkscreen print of your own to take home. Open to all ages.

Tuesdays, 2 p.m., 3 p.m. & 6 p.m.

Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays, 2 p.m. & 3 p.m. (Please note: The studio is closed on Friday, December 24)

Included with admission, free for members. Space is limited; reservations required. Tickets may be reserved at the admissions desk on the day of your visit.

More About the James Museum:

The James Museum

The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art will revive interest and passion about the history of the American West. The tenacious spirit of Native American, pioneer and immigrant cultures embody the history of our country. We will engage the community, through programs and public events, in meaningful ways to connect and make this narrative relevant to civilization today. The museum features over 500 modern and historic works of art that evoke the spirit of a wide-open frontier and the beauty of life in the American West.
The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art is a museum located in St. Petersburg, Florida. The museum was founded by businessman Thomas James and opened in 2018. The museum has thousands of pieces from the James’ collection, including both contemporary and traditional works. Tom and Mary James spent $75 million creating the Museum.