Uncle Sam 259 by Andy Warhol is a part of 10 screenprints in his Myths series that exemplify his unerring sense for the powerful motifs of his time. He included Uncle Sam in the portfolio because of the image’s symbolic relevance to the shaping of American culture, as Uncle Sam is the personified embodiment of the United States, often depicted in patriotic wear, encouraging young people to vote and to enlist in the military.
Uncle Sam 259 by Andy Warhol as Part of His Larger Body of Work
For his Myths series, Warhol selected the fantasy characters and imaginary heroes of a typical American childhood. Most of the images in Warhol’s Myths series are taken from 1950s television or old Hollywood films. They portray the universal view of America’s once captivating and commanding past. Other pieces included in the series are characters loved by children such as Mickey Mouse, Howdy Doody, and Santa Claus, as well as fictional figures like Dracula, The Wicked Witch of the West, and Uncle Sam. While each of these characters has a strong, sometimes unpleasant persona, they are distinctly separated from reality. It has been said that Warhol considered each of these characters to be facets of his personality.