'Julia Warhola' by Andy Warhol (1974) in high resolution

julia warhola andy warholJulia Warhola (Júlia Varholová) was Andy Warhol's mother. She was born to a peasant family in the Rusyn village of Mikova, Austria-Hungary (now in northeast Slovakia), and married Andrej Varhola there in 1909. He emigrated to the United States shortly thereafter, and in 1921 she followed him to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The couple had three children: Paul, John, and Andy. The family lived at several addresses in Pittsbugh, but starting from 1932 they lived at 3252 Dawson Street in Oakland neighbourhood. The family was Byzantine Catholic and attended St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church. Andrej Warhola died in 1942.

Julia enjoyed singing traditional Rusyn folk songs, she also loved to paint. Her favorite subject were angels and cats. She also did embroidery and other crafts, such as bouquets of flowers handmade from tin cans and crepe paper. During the Easter season she decorated eggs in Pysanka tradition.

As a widow, she moved to New York in 1951 to care of Andy. Andy is often used her decorative handwriting illustrations to accompany him. She won an award for her inscriptions, including the album cover featuring the musician Moondog in 1958. In 1957, she illustrated a small book called the Holy cats, and she also worked for '25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy'.

In 1966 Andy made a movie called Mrs. Warhol (black-and-white, 66 minutes). It features Julia in her basement apartment in Andy's house playing “an aging peroxide movie star with a lot of husbands,” including the most current spouse, played by Richard Rheem. Andy follows her about with his camera as she goes about her daily domestic routines.

In 1971 she returned to Pittsburgh and died a year later. She is buried, alongside her husband and near her son Andy, in St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery in Bethel Park, a south suburb of Pittsburgh.