Title: Buffalo Nickel (FS II.374)
Medium: Screenprint on Lenox Museum Board
Size: 36” x 36”
Details: 36 TP of each print, all signed and numbered in pencil. Each print is unique.
Buffalo Nickel 374
Buffalo Nickel 374 is a screenprint by Andy Warhol of a five-cent copper coin that was struck and circulated by the US Mint from 1913 to 1938. The image was designed by the sculptor James Earle Fraser, who chose two different images to depict: a Native American and (in this case) a wild bison. Noticeably absent in this grey and silver toned print of the Buffalo Nickel, are the vivid technicolor hues that typically accent Warhol’s prints. The image serves as a rare case in which Warhol implemented a monochromatic color scheme, in this case, to stay more true to the image’s original form so as not to obscure its source. Warhol has accentuated the silver coloring of the nickel, along with the wording and outlines detailing the piece’s worth which frames the image of a wild western buffalo.
Buffalo Nickel 374 As A part of Andy Warhol’s Larger Body of Work
Andy Warhol included this print in his Cowboys and Indians series, which also includes War Bonnet Indian, Action Picture, and Sitting Bull. In creating these series, Warhol was not so much interested in portraying an accurate historical representation of the wild west as he was interested in delineating symbols, figures and personalities of that time that have been popularized by Hollywood films, literature and tv shows. While they may not be historically true to form, the images capture the spirit of the American west, more specifically the American west that played vividly in the minds of people who consumed Western films that starred the likes of Elvis Presley (Flaming Star) and John Wayne (The Alamo).