Howdy Doody 263 is a part of ten screenprints in the Myths series that exemplify Warhol’s unerring sense for the powerful motifs of his time. Howdy Doody was a popular freckle-faced marionette in the children’s television show Howdy Doody, which aired in the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s and incorporated circus and Western frontier themes. Howdy Doody is part of Warhol’s Myths portfolio, which also included characters such as Superman, Mickey Mouse, and Dracula. Unlike many of his well-known works which were appropriated from the mass media, Warhol’s reproduction of Howdy Doody’s image is based on a photograph of the original Howdy Doody that Warhol took himself.
Most of 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. Every character in the Myths series is meant to represent a different facet of Andy Warhol’s personality. Andy Warhol created the Myths series during the early 1980s, arguably his most prolific period. During this time, Warhol was perfecting his screenprinting methods and making extremely intricate works.