About Julia Justína Warhola (Zavacka)
Taken from: http://www.warhola.com/andysmother.html
Julia Warhola was Andy Warhol’s mother. Most family members would agree that Julia was the single most influential person in Andy’s life. Her creative talents were the main source of Andy’s artistic genius.
She was born, Julia Zavacky in Mikova, Czechoslovakia on November 17,1892. She married Ondreij Warhola in 1909 and immigrated to the United States in 1921. The Zavackys like the Warholas were of Carpatho-Rusyn decent. The Zavackys excelled in all forms of expression. Music, dance and art were an important part of the family's Eastern European heritage and they did it well. Julia enjoyed singing many of the traditional folk songs that she grew up knowing. She also was very expressive artistically. She loved to draw and she passed this love of drawing on to her children. Her favorite subjects were angels and cats. Another tradition that she worked in was embroidery. Embroidered fabrics throughout their home were a common decoration. She did many other types of crafts such as bouquets of hand made flowers made from tin cans and crepe paper. During the Easter holidays she decorated eggs beautifully with wax patterns in the Pisanky tradition.
Julia moved to New York City in 1952 to be with Andy. She continued her singing and drawing through the Fifties and Sixties. Andy admired her abilities and used her penmanship often. Her decorative handwriting would often accompany his illustrations. She won awards for her lettering. One being for an album cover featuring the musician, Moondog in 1958. In 1957 she illustrated a small book called Holy Cats. It featured what she loved to draw most, angels and cats. In 1970 she returned to Pittsburgh and died in 1972.
Júlia Varholová, born Júlia Justína Zavacká, (November 17, 1892—November 22, 1972) was the mother of the American artist Andy Warhol.
She was born to a peasant family in the Rusyn village of Miková, Austria-Hungary (now in northeast Slovakia) and married Andrej Warhola there in 1909. He emigrated to the United States soon after, and in 1921 she followed him to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The couple had three children: Paul (Pavol), John (Ján), and Andy. The family lived at several Pittsbugh addresses, but beginning in 1932 at 3252 Dawson Street in the Oakland neighborhood of the city. The family was Byzantine Catholic and attended St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church. Her husband died in 1942.
Julia enjoyed singing traditional Rusyn folk songs and was artistic. She loved to draw. Her favorite subjects were angels and cats. She also did embroidery and other crafts, such as bouquets of hand-made flowers made from tin cans and crepe paper. During the Easter season she decorated eggs in the Pysanka tradition.
As a widow, she moved to New York City in 1951 to take care of Andy. Andy often used her decorative handwriting to accompany his illustrations. She won awards for her lettering, including one from the American Institute of Graphic Arts for an album cover for The Story Moondog, featuring the musician Louis Thomas Hardin in 1958. In 1957 she illustrated a small book called Holy Cats and she also worked on 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, Pennsylvania, a south suburb of Pittsburgh.