Julia Warhola- Andy Warhol's Mother

Julia Warhola was Andy Warhol’s mother. Most family members would agree that Julia was the single most influential person in Andy’s life. Her creative talents were the main source of Andy’s artistic genius.

She was born, Julia Zavacky in Mikova, Czechoslovakia on November 17,1892. She married Ondreij Warhola in 1909 and immigrated to the United States in 1921. The Zavackys like the Warholas were of Carpatho-Rusyn decent. The Zavackys excelled in all forms of expression. Music, dance and art were an important part of the family's Eastern European heritage and they did it well. Julia enjoyed singing many of the traditional folk songs that she grew up knowing. She also was very expressive artistically. She loved to draw and she passed this love of drawing on to her children. Her favorite subjects were angels and cats. Another tradition that she worked in was embroidery. Embroidered fabrics throughout their home were a common decoration. She did many other types of crafts such as bouquets of hand made flowers made from tin cans and crepe paper. During the Easter holidays she decorated eggs beautifully with wax patterns in the Pisanky tradition.

Julia moved to New York City in 1952 to be with Andy. She continued her singing and drawing through the Fifties and Sixties. Andy admired her abilities and used her penmanship often. Her decorative handwriting would often accompany his illustrations. She won awards for her lettering. One being for an album cover featuring the musician, Moondog in 1958. In 1957 she illustrated a small book called Holy Cats. It featured what she loved to draw most, angels and cats. In 1970 she returned to Pittsburgh and died in 1972.

Illustrations by

Julia Warhola

Portrait by Paul Warhola 1991