Andy Warhol’s Teddy Roosevelt 386 (Trial Proof), created in 1986, depicts a young Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Roosevelt in his Rough Rider uniform from a photograph taken in 1898. This iconic print is a part of Warhol’s Cowboys and Indians series. Theodore Roosevelt was one of the most beloved presidents of the United States as a leader, a member of the military, and the founder of the National Parks Service. This unique print is a trial proof, meaning that it was taking out during the printing process in order to make color and compositional changes. Therefore, there is no other print that is exactly like this one.
Teddy Roosevelt 386 (Trial Proof) by Andy Warhol as Part of His Larger Body of Work
The Cowboys and Indians series is exemplary of how Warhol utilized heavily embedded images derived from popular culture. Images like Teddy Roosevelt 386 represents tokens of native culture, whereas figures like Geronimo and Annie Oakley are based on characters in the Hollywood adaptation of American history, which do not truly represent the roles that these individuals historically played. Rather than portraying Native Americans within their historical landscape, or Cowboys in their veritable forms, Warhol chose to portray a popular, romanticized version of the American West. The West that he chose to represent is familiar to everyone and can be seen in novels, films and TV series. Warhol’s Cowboys and Indians series is an ahistorical representation that mirrors a popular interpretation of the American West.