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Past Exhibition 13 Most Wanted Men: Andy Warhol and the 1964 World’s Fair

September 27, 2014–January 4, 2015


Images:Andy Warhol, Most Wanted Men No. 2, John Victor G., 1964. ©The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc

Fifty years ago, Andy Warhol sparked a minor scandal at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

As part of a prominent set of public commissions for the exterior of the Philip Johnson-designed New York State Pavilion, Warhol chose to enlarge mug shots from an NYPD booklet featuring the 13 most wanted criminals of 1962. Forming a massive grid, these 48-inch square panels each featured front and profile views of the subject.  The 13 Most Wanted Men was installed April 15, 1964 and due to potential controversy was painted over by Fair officials with silver paint a few days later. When the Fair opened to the public, all that was visible was a large silver panel.

Later in the summer of 1964, Warhol produced 20 Most Wanted Men paintings on narrower canvases with the same screens he had used to make the mural. They were first shown to the public at Galerie Sonnabend in Paris in 1967. Many of them were recently brought together again for the first time in almost half a century.

This exhibition launched at the Queens Museum in April 2014 only 200 yards from the original site of Warhol’s mural.

This exhibition was developed collaboratively by the Queens Museum and The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. 13 Most Wanted Men: Andy Warhol and the 1964 World’s Fair is made possible by a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.

Delta is the official airline sponsor for 13 Most Wanted Men: Andy Warhol and the 1964 World’s Fair.