Remembering Andy Warhol's Censored Mural at the World's Fair

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Andy Warhol, Most Wanted Men No. 11, John Joseph H., Jr., 1964.
Acrylic and liquitex in silkscreen on canvas. Image given courtesy Museum fr Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main. Photographer: Axel Schneider, Frankfurt am Main 2014 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

So, it turns out hanging giant mugshots of hardcore bad guys on publicly funded buildings is frowned-upon.

In 1963, then up-and-coming pop artist Andy Warhol was asked to produce art work for the 1964 World's Fair in Queens, and he learned this lesson the hard way: His mural idea was approved, but when the coarse black-and-white mug shots, each roughly four feet tall, were actually arrayed across the pavilion's exterior wall, reality proved unpalatable to his powerful patrons. was covered up soon after it was unveiled in a cowardly (prudent?) act of censorship.

Read the full story: "Censorship: The Sequel, Starring Andy, Rocky, Philip, and Moses," by R. C. Baker.

The exhibition at the Queens Museum -- '13 Most Wanted Men: Andy Warhol and the 1964 World's Fair' -- runs through September 7.

Published on May 1, 2014

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