Cowboys and Indians (Annie Oakley)
36 x 36 in. (91.4 x 91.4 cm)
Medium and Support:
Screenprint on Lenox Museum Board
Gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
Andy Warhol established his career on Americana subjects, including the Wild West. This print is of Annie Oakley, a popular sharpshooter performer in the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Despite being from Pennsylvania, the traveling show’s sensationalized version of the Wild West allowed Oakley to become a symbol of the Wild West’s mythology. Her most famous trick was shooting a gun backwards and never missing her target, one of which included a cigarette in the Kaiser of Germany’s mouth. As part of her legacy and mythos, Oakley allegedly asked to shoot a second shot after the Kaiser’s role in WWI. She would later retire due to an injury and advocated for women’s rights, even teaching sharpshooting as self defense. The print colorfully outlines Oakley’s medals, highlighting her accomplishments as a historical and cultural icon. Today we can criticize the inaccurate portrayals of the Western genre and Warhol’s use of the screenprints-- creating flat, vivid, and stylized images- highlights the artifice of the Wild West and Oakley created by pop culture.
Liana Rose D. Salazar
Class of 2022