While Andy Warhol’s original paintings can sell for record prices at auction, his editioned prints offer a more accessible starting point for investors and collectors. Here are a few important points to consider before buying your first Warhol print or expanding your collection.
UPDATED APRIL 2021
- Cost of a Warhol print
- How many prints did Warhol make?
- What factors impact value
- Where to buy
Whether made in the 1960s, ’70s or ’80s, Warhol’s prints still look as fresh and contemporary as the day it was released. It is no surprise that the Pop artist has consistently overtaken his contemporaries Roy Lichtenstein and Keith Haring at auction. While unique paintings make record-breaking sales, art by Warhol valued between $1,000-$10,000 add up to nearly half of the artist’s work sold at auction, highlighting the strength of prints and editions market.
Appealing to all ages and budgets, there is a Warhol print for everyone. Here are some of the most important things to consider before you buy – from condition and provenance to trends and fluctuations in the market.
How much does a Warhol print cost?
In the 1960s, Warhol’s earliest prints were sold for as little as $100–$1,500, some were even given away for free. Today, close to 75% of Warhol’s art sells for up to $50,000 at auction, with nearly half of all Warhol artworks selling for up to $10,000 at auction.
Price history and provenance can affect a Warhol print’s value, along with market trends – which can be hard to predict. In 2006, the market for Warhol was booming. But the global crash that came two years later led to prices sinking dramatically as demand fell. By 2010, however, the market readjusted and has continued with peaks and troughs since. According to Artnet, Warhol’s works made a combined $150.3 million at auction in the first half of 2019 alone, more than any other artist in the sector.
How many prints did Warhol make?
It is thought that Warhol produced 448 separate editions of prints, both as standalone works and wider portfolios such as the Soup Cans, the Marilyns and Maos which all feature a number of different colourways. In total, 85,311 editioned artworks are estimated to have been created by Warhol and his assistants, excluding the unique silkscreen prints onto paper. Many of Warhol’s prints were made in editions of 200 or 250 while others, such as the Mildred Scheel series which was made for a charity fundraiser, were produced in small editions of 15 or 20.
What factors impact the value of a Warhol print?
Many factors impact the value of a Warhol print, including the rarity of the edition, the year it was made, its size, its condition and whether it has a signature or not. The popularity of the colours, or the historical importance of the print’s subject, can also be an influence. The reasons a print might sell for a record price are hard to put your finger on. But suffice to say, everyone knows an icon when they see one – and Warhol has long been considered a barometer of the health of the market, to the point where he has been called the ‘One-Man Dow Jones’ of the art world.
How do you authenticate a Warhol print?
The Andy Warhol Foundation was set up after the artist’s death to authenticate and promote his work, and their enormous catalogue raisonné documents over 15,000 paintings, sculptures and drawings – and continues to be expanded. Meanwhile, Andy Warhol Prints: A Catalogue Raisonné 1962-1987 by Frayda Feldman and Jörg Schellmann, dedicated to Warhol’s prints, illustrates over 1,700 works. If the print you want to buy is not listed in either books, it may not be an authentic Warhol.
Many independent advisors, as well as auction houses, also offer unofficial authentication services, and here at MyArtBroker we are happy to help clarify a piece’s provenance if you are concerned.
How do you check the condition of a Warhol print?
Warhol’s prints were published on different types of papers and some are more vulnerable to damage – such as tearing, ‘cockling’ (wrinkling) and deterioration due to light and humidity – than others. His Campbell’s Soup prints from the 1960s, for example, were deliberately printed on thin, inexpensive paper to replicate mass and commercial forms of production.
You should always make sure the print you want to buy is in pristine condition. Ensure the work has been inspected carefully and consult an expert if you are in any doubt. After buying your print, it is also vital to keep it in perfect condition, as this will affect its future value. MyArtBroker’s conservation experts can assist in assessing any issues that may affect the value of the artwork.
Where can you buy a Warhol print?
There are many auction houses and galleries selling Andy Warhol prints, but be warned of the whopping buyers premium you’ll pay. Equally, there are less credible options which can be found on eBay and other websites.
At MyArtBroker we offer a safe and simple solution to buyers, connecting you directly with our expert brokers, who can assist you with buying a Warhol print from our large network of collectors. Our brokers will also authenticate and check the condition of artworks, so you can be confident about your investment, as well as helping to arrange shipping. We offer both the sense of trust and comfort that comes with meeting with a specialist personally, as well as the efficiency, transparency and ease of buying online.