Campbell’s 142 Years of Design Exhibit

When: now through December 11, 2011

Where: The Art Institute of Philadelphia at 16th and Chestnut

Hours: Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday 9 to 7, Friday 9 to 5, and Saturday 9 to 4.

Cost: Free!



About the Exhibit


The Campbell's Kids

This is the first time Cambell’s Soup Company has lent some of it’s most iconic artifacts from it’s archives for public exhibition. This exhibit  showcases the design and advertisements of the Cambell’s soup company and how woman have contributed and influenced the company over the past 142 years. Campbell’s vintage advertisements on display span from the 1900s to the 1980s!  The vintage advertisements reveal the evolution of the woman consumer (undeniably their main target market). The exhibition also showcases the work of three prominent creative woman who greatly contributed to the history and design of Campbell’s. Amongst these woman are Grace Gebbie Drayton (1877-1936) a Philadelphia Artist who drew the famous and now nostalgic  Campbell’s Kids of the Campbell’s advertisiments of the early 20th century. Two antique Campbell’s Kids dolls are also on display at the exhibit. Also on exhibit is the original packaging of Pepperidge Farm bread that successful business woman Margaret Rudkin (1897-1967) oversaw and was acquired by the Campbell’s Soup Company. Another significant piece of the exhibit are Photographs for Fortune 500

Some of the Vintage Advertisements on Display

Magazine in 1935. These photographs were taken by one of the most influential woman photographers of her generation, Margaret Bourke-White. In her photographs she documents the woman’s manual work force during the rebuilding of America after the stock market crash of 1929.


The exhibit also explores Andy Worhols fascination with Campbell’s Soup. On display is the Andy Warhol inspired Campbell’s Souper Dress which label found on the back of the dress summarizes the era: “The Souper Dress– No Cleaning–No Washing – It’s Carefree…” These artifacts ” announced an era of convenience and the promise of a modern woman eased if not liberated of domestic chores.”  The visuals on display inform us of the creativity, aesthetic, and design of the period.

The visuals on display are great to experience and to keep in your memory bank for inspiration.


Also on display and can be seen from the street are 12 original red dresses created as part of the Go Red for Women campaigns for the American Heart Association and worn by celebrities including Toni Braxton, Lorraine Bracco, and Jane Krakowski.






When you go to the exhibit, pick up a brochure on your way in. You can read descriptions about the designs and interesting information about the Ad Panels on display in the brochure. It also tells your more about the three woman showcased in the exhibit as well as a reading on the Warhol and his famous images of the Campbell’s Soup Cans.


Gallery Talks

Two talks are scheduled during the remaining run of the show, they are free and take place at the gallery.

Wednesday, October 12: “The History of Campbell” Talk given by Jonathan Thorn, Corporate Archivist of Campbell’s Soup Company

Thursday, November 17th: “Creating the Flavors We Love” Talk given by Campbell’s Kitchen Chef





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *