Andy Warhol & Justice Brandeis

The Intersection of Law & Popular Culture

Auric D. Steele

(c) Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

© 2006 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts/ARS, New York

Louis D. Brandeis was an innovator in the field of law.  As a lawyer, scholar, and Supreme Court Justice, he transformed both the practice of law and the philosophy which underlies it.  In particular, Brandeis revolutionized legal argument by drawing upon theories and data from the social sciences and other disciplines outside the field of law.

Like Justice Brandeis, Andy Warhol was an innovator in his field.  He revolutionized modern art through his distinctive multi-disciplined approach.  His signature style combined elements of photography, screen printing, and painting to create a unique visual commentary on modern life, the phenomenon of celebrity, and pop culture.

In 1980, Warhol selected Justice Brandeis as one of the subjects of his portrait series, Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century.  The subjects of this series represent a broad spectrum of individuals having influence and impact on twentieth century life.  They include, among others, George Gershwin, Sarah Bernhardt, the Marx Brothers, Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud.  Each of these portraits was produced in a limited edition of 200 prints, with each print signed and numbered by the artist.  In 2005, the Brandeis Law Library purchased Brandeis portrait number 194/200, which is now on display in the library’s main reading room.  While the library owns this particular print, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts retains the copyright in all of the late artist’s works.

For us at The Brand, Warhol’s portrait of Justice Brandeis epitomizes the nexus between law and popular culture, which is a significant feature of intellectual property law.  The portrait is also symbolic of our multi-faceted approach to the presentation and analysis of this wide-ranging area of the law.  For this reason, while designing this website, we negotiated and purchased a renewable license from the copyright owner to feature the Warhol/Brandeis portrait as part of our banner – and as part of our “brand.”

Under that license, Andy Warhol’s portrait of Justice Brandeis appears on this website with the permission of the Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.  ARS is the exclusive representative of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and vigorously protects all the rights reserved to the artist’s heirs and assigns under the Copyright Act.  As part of our arrangement with ARS, they have requested that we post the following statement on the website:

Reproduction, including downloading of Andy Warhol’s works, without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions.

At The Brand, we respect the legal and moral rights of authors and artists, and we encourage all of our readers to do the same. The presentation of this particular work of art on our website is intended as a tribute to the many innovative, transformative, and creative contributions of Justice Louis D. Brandeis and Artist Andy Warhol.