Warhol Campbell’s Tomato Soup Can Restoration

Beloved University Landmark to Travel to Los Angeles This Spring

The Colorado State University Art Museum is pleased to announce that the Campbell’s Tomato Soup Can, which is currently installed in front of Griffin Concert Hall at the University Center for the Arts, is to be restored this spring. The large scale can, signed by Andy Warhol, will be removed from the University Center for the Arts (UCA) grounds on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, with an anticipated return in the Spring/Summer 2013 timeframe.

Three soup cans were created in collaboration with Andy Warhol for the opening of the Warhol at Colorado State University exhibit, and were signed by Warhol upon his arrival at the art building on Sept. 1, 1981. The massive can resided on the Dept. of Art front lawn until the late 80s, and was installed at the UCA on Sept. 29, 2008 as the third piece in the developing UCA Sculpture Garden.

The soup can restoration is being funded by a generous donation from Denver art patrons J. Landis and Sharon Martin. Mr. Martin is the founder and managing partner of Platte River Ventures.

The Martins first encountered the Warhol soup can during a tour of the campus given by CSU President, Dr. Tony Frank. They observed the deterioration of the sculpture and expressed a desire to assist in its renovation.

University Art Museum Director and Curator Linny Frickman worked with the Martin’s representative, Dianne Vanderlip, former curator of modern and contemporary art at the Denver Art Museum, to identify a restorer for the can. The restoration, with special care to conserve Warhol’s signature, will be completed by Mark Rossi, founder of HANDMADE located in Los Angeles, Calif. The skilled sculptor and fabricator has worked with art luminaries such as Claus Oldenburg and Charles Ray.

“The sculpture has been presenting rust around the bottom since 2008,” said Frickman who has consulted with campus facility management and landscape architects on the reinstallation which will address drainage problems that caused the rust to expand.

“The soup can has both historical and sentimental value to the University,” expressed Frickman. Archival documentation of Warhol’s involvement with the Dept. of Art throughout the planning process for the original construction and fabrication of the cans shows a method of working that is in keeping with Warhol’s oeuvre, whereby assistants produced much of the work in accordance with Warhol’s plans and instruction. “The importance of the can has transcended conventional measures to become a landmark and beloved image for the University and the UCA – we are thrilled and deeply grateful that the Martins have made an investment in its preservation,” said Frickman.

The Campbell’s Tomato Soup Can is part of the University Art Museum’s larger sculptural plan. The current museum expansion plan to create a dynamic architectural addition to the museum, in order to house the bequest of the Hartford/Tandstad collection, also incorporates more outdoor sculpture.

The University Art Museum is located in the University Center for the Arts, 1400 Remington Street. For further information please call (970) 491-1989 or visit the museum’s website at artmuseum.colostate.edu.


The University Center for the Arts at Colorado State University provides an enriched venue in which the study and practice of art, music, theatre, and dance are nurtured and sustained by building the skills and knowledge needed by future generations of arts professionals to become contributors to the essential vitality of our culture and society. For more information, visit UCA.colostate.edu.