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Death, Disaster, and the Deconstruction of Art: Andy Warhol and the 1960s

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Title:Death, Disaster, and the Deconstruction of Art: Andy Warhol and the 1960s
Authors:Lee, Deanne
Contributors:Henriksen, Margot (advisor)
History (department)
Date Issued:26 Sep 2014
Publisher:University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract:On 16 April 1964, architect Philip Johnson informed Andy Warhol that he had twenty- four hours to replace or remove the mural he had painted on the New York State Pavilion for the World's Fair. Warhol and ten other artists, including Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, and James Rosenquist, had received commissions to design murals for the New York's World's Fair of 1964. Warhol had proudly created and installed outside of Johnson's New York State Pavilion a twenty-foot by twenty-foot black and white mural called "The Thirteen Most Wanted Men." (Figure 1) Warhol had selected the mug shots of thirteen criminals taken from eight-year-old Federal Bureau of lnvestigation wanted posters to craft his mural. Johnson, designer of the New York State Pavilion, had admired Warhol's work ever since the Museum of Modern Art's Pop Art exhibition in December 1962. He nonetheless found himself having to inform Warhol that then New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller had ordered the mural's removal. (Figure 2) Johnson explained in an interview that Rockefeller thought that the "Thirteen Most Wanted Men" mural might be offensive to some of his Italian constituents because most of the thirteen criminals were Italian; moreover, the list was outdated and most of the criminals had been proven not guilty. Other scholars contended, however, that that Rockefeller ordered the whitewashing of Warhol's mural for "political reasons." Whatever the governor's exact reasoning, clearly Warhol's idea for an exhibit so clashed with the World Fair's ideals as to be censored completely.
Pages/Duration:49 pages
Rights:All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Honors Projects for History

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