In February, the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida, is honoring a hometown girl made good, Jane Holzer, who went to New York in the early 1960s and dazzled Andy Warhol, Diana Vreeland, and the known pop universe.
To Jane, Love Andy: Warhol’s First Superstar (February 2–May 25, 2014) includes the high-1960s outfits Holzer—then known as “Baby Jane Holzer”—modeled, as well as Vogue spreads shot by David Bailey and Irving Penn. It’s Warhol-palooza, starring films with Holzer (Screen Test: Jane Holzer, Kiss, etc.) and iconic Warhol pieces like Flowers, Round Jackie, and Heinz Tomato Ketchup Box. These days, Holzer is all grown up but still in love with art, fashion, and sweet home Palm Beach.
Q: When did you first meet Andy Warhol?
A:I was on the street one day, near Bloomingdales, with David Bailey; Andy was on the opposite street corner. After we were introduced, Andy took one look at me and immediately said `Want to be in the movies?’
Q: Did Warhol like Palm Beach?
A: He loved Palm Beach. In the 1980s, Andy and Halston came down for the opening of Sweet Baby Jane’s, my old ice cream shop. They were fun, but I hated that business: lines out the door, the manager off someplace not working, and customers who would ask for twenty samples and then spend a $1.50. Plus, I ate too much ice cream—it was delicious.
Q: What was it like growing up in Palm Beach?
A: Kids bicycled everywhere with complete freedom and it was an easy life. Now, just like in New York, I’m always busy in Palm Beach: on Worth Avenue, I have a building my father built, with tenants like Brioni and Loro Piana. The evenings are pretty quiet though, either visiting friends’ houses or dinner at places like Pizza al Fresco.
Q: Is Palm Beach better—or worse—than your childhood memories?
A: It’s better now, still beautiful but a lot more open-minded.
Q: How did you start modeling?
A: At about 18, I started pounding the pavement, and haven’t stopped working since. All of us—Jean Shrimpton, Marisa Berenson—had a ball, though we didn’t make much money. I wore everything from Emanuel Ungaro to Yves Saint Laurent for shoots, but I really loved the Chanel suits, pieces you can wear from lunch to dinner to out in the evening.
Q: Where did you shop then?
A: Back then, it was couture: now, it’s Target, Loehmanns, and Hermes.
Q: What inspired you to start collecting art?
A: Andy. I loved his pieces like “Flowers,” and then kept buying, Frank Stella, Roy Lichenstein, and all that. Contemporary art was very new then, but the business was more sensible. Now, young kids in Brooklyn are demanding $300,000 for their paintings: the market has gone coo-coo and makes no sense. In The Factory days, the scene was nothing to us, just about having fun.
Q: Is your life still as much fun as when you were Baby Jane Holzer?
A: I’m older now, with children and grandchildren, and life is—of course—a bit less fun now.
Q: Any hopes for the future?
A: Yeah, why not? Just to keep waking up and feeling OK: I have a lot of work to do.