Kaufman’s original screen print portrait of Shakespeare was gifted to the Trust by the artist’s estate last year and is now on display at Shakespeare’s New Place.
Steve Kaufman (1960-2010) was an American pop artist and former assistant to Andy Warhol. He advanced the use of the silkscreen process and was most widely recognised for his use of vivid colours and hand embellishment. Like Warhol, he painted iconic figures from history and popular culture. ‘Shakespeare State Two’ is after the Droeshout engraving in the First Folio.
The original painting is signed on the back ‘SAK’ and we have incorporated this initialled signature into the range design. We have also worked with our supplier, Paul Bristow, to reproduce as closely as possible the brilliant purple, yellow and gold of the original painting.
We are grateful to Diana Vachier, friend and former assistant to Steve and now principal of Steve Kaufman Art Licensing LLC, for supporting the product development under licence. Following launch of the product, feedback from staff and visitors has been wonderfully positive but we were especially thrilled to receive Diana’s response below:
It's a tremendous honor for Steve Kaufman's painting to be included in the finest and most valuable Shakespeare collection in the world. But also to have the painting reproduced so professionally and with such quality as to be sold on products in the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust gift shops. I am so extremely proud and know that Steve would feel very humbled and joyful.
A book bag and cushion are available to buy now in store and on our online shop, with new products planned for next year.
Find out more about the life and works of Steve Kaufman.
"I am truly blessed to be doing what I've always wanted - CREATE"— Steve Kaufman 1960-2010