Andy Warhol is perhaps best known for his pop art pieces depicting soup cans and Marilyn Monroe. But, folks often forget that he worked as a commercial illustrator early in his career. Because of the straight-laced nature of that work, he would dive into independent projects with a little more freedom to express the sardonic attitude we’d see in his later, more successful creations.
One such project, a satirical cookbook entitled Wild Raspberries—a play Ingmar Bergman's film title Wild Strawberries—was created with friend Suzie Franklin, a prominent interior designer, and his mom, Julia, who hand calligraphed the book. The book was a send-up of the elaborate, Haute French cookbooks and recipes that were popular at the time.
Wild Raspberries was self-published, with only 34 ever produced, so when one comes up for auction, signed by Warhol, it will almost certainly fetch a small fortune. Later this month, auction house Bonhams will have one available, and they expect the book to go for between $30,000-$50,000. This particular copy features an inscription to D. D. Ryan, who would also play a critical role in creating the Eloise series of children's books during her time as an editor at Harper’s Baazar.
Still, it's a lovely glance at the Warhol to come, and the illustrations add a playful element to the mischievous writing and silly recipes.
For those of us on a modest budget, as of this writing, a used 1997 hardcover printing goes for about $200 on Amazon.