In a mingling of pop art, advertising and the real thing, about 30 Andy Warhol renderings of Coca-Cola’s curvy trademark bottle will go on display at a new museum near headquarters for the world’s largest beverage maker.
Most of the paintings, pencil sketches and screenprints — all about Coke except for a self-portrait — will be on exhibit beginning May 24 at the new World of Coca-Cola museum near the company’s headquarters here.
The paintings are on loan for a year from The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. A half-hidden Coke logo looms above the trademark bottle in a dark 70-inch-by-52-inch painting on linen from 1961. A violet splash of color spills from a Coke can in a large screenprint created for a 1985 cover for Time that was never published.
And perhaps most amusedly self-conscious of all, there’s a black-and-white photograph from the 1970s of an empty Coke bottle standing next to a can of Campbell’s tomato soup — another of Warhol’s pop icons.
“Warhol took art and he made art available to the everyday man and everybody understood it,” said Ted Ryan, the exhibit’s curator for The Coca-Cola Co. “Everybody owns a piece of Coke, or a piece of Marilyn, at least in the imagination.”
The new Coke museum replaces one that opened in 1990 and closed April 7 after drawing about 13 million visitors. Aside from its always-popular tasting lounge of Coca-Cola products from around the world, the new, twice-as-big museum will feature more than 1,000 Coke artifacts never exhibited before.
From Campbell’s soup cans to Marilyn Monroe, Warhol made a career of turning everyday objects and famous faces into pop art, including Coke bottles. He died in 1987.
Peter Schelstraete, global brand director for Coca-Cola, jokes that “Andy Warhol was one of our best brand directors.”
The museum will be next door to the Georgia Aquarium, the world’s largest aquarium, across the street from Centennial Olympic Park and a short walk from CNN’s headquarters and the Georgia Dome.