Lot # 1: Andy Warhol's Original Painting of Jack Nicklaus

Category: Jack Nicklaus

Starting Bid: $25,000.00

Bids: 42 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "2024 Masters Week Auction",
which ran from 4/3/2024 8:00 PM to
4/13/2024 8:00 PM

"The Bear has come out of hibernation." 

That was Jim Nantz' legendary call during Jack Nicklaus' back nine charge en route to winning the 1986 Masters. That line could also be used to describe this painting...

For the very first time since it was painted by Andy Warhol in 1977, his iconic painting of Jack Nicklaus reaches the auction block. 

Andy Warhol is most known for his pop culture art - the Campbell's Soup Cans, Mao, the Banana, Brillo Boxes, and Marilyn Monroe. But in 1977, famed Warhol benefactor Richard Weisman commissioned Warhol to create The Complete Athlete Series. In total, ten athletes were painted by Warhol, including Muhammad Ali, Jack Nicklaus, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, OJ Simpson, Dorothy Hamill, and Pelé. Christie's sold a Warhol Muhammad Ali from this Athlete Series for a record $18.1 million in November 2021. 

Offered in this auction is Andy Warhol's masterpiece of Jack Nicklaus. Though Warhol infamously knew next to nothing about golf, you would never know it from this painting, which perfectly combines Augusta green with Golden Bear yellow. Richard Weisman himself thought of this painting so highly that he and Warhol never sold it. This painting remained in Weisman's personal collection until he donated it to the Golf Hall of Fame in 1992. 

The Golf Hall of Fame (first in Pinehurst, then in St. Augustine at the World Golf Hall of Fame) has proudly displayed this Andy Warhol masterpiece since Weisman's donation. Now, because the World Golf Hall of Fame is relocating and downsizing, Andy Warhol's original painting of Jack Nicklaus will sell for the very first time since it was painted by Warhol some 47 years ago. 


-Completed by Andy Warhol (1928-1987) in late 1977.
40" x 40" (101.6 cm x 101.6 cm), Acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas/linen
Signed by Andy Warhol on overlap (signature somewhat faded but still legible). Very significant, as Warhol did not sign a substantial amount of his work, including the $18.1 million Muhammad Ali from this same series. 
Authenticated and signed/dated by Frederick Hughes on overlap


-Richard L. Weisman, Seattle, acquired directly from the artist on 12/2/92
-PGA of American World Golf Hall of Fame, donated by Weisman
-World Golf Hall of Fame, donated by predecessor organization
-Letter of Provenance from World Golf Hall of Fame


-The Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné: Paintings 1976-1978, vol. 5A, New York, 2018, pp. 367, 371

Exhibition History

-Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, 1981
-PGA of America World Golf Hall of Fame, 1992-1998 [Permanent Museum Display]
-World Golf Hall of Fame, 1998-2023 [Permanent Museum Display]