To mark the 50th anniversary of the 1964 World's Fair, the Queens Museum is shedding light on a little known chapter in World's Fair history involving the late pop icon Andy Warhol. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.
Fifty years later, artwork Andy Warhol made for the 1964 World's Fair will finally be seen at the site of the fair, inside the Queens Museum at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
"In 1964 the architect Philip Johnson and the master builder of New York City, Robert Moses, commissioned Andy Warhol to do an image on the outside of one of the pavilions here," says Queens Museum Executive Director Tom Finkelpearl.
But instead of doing celebrity portraits, Warhol used mug shots of the NYPD's 13 Most Wanted.
"This is a complete fiasco. It's actually Andy Warhol's only public art project and Robert Moses and Nelson Rockefeller had it painted over before the fair even opened," says Finkelpearl. "Andy Warhol worked in silkscreens and he made a whole other set of America's most wanted men. Those were then dispersed to museums all over the world and our curators tracked them down."
NY1 got a look around while the exhibit is installed. It includes many of Warhol's better known works from the same year and other artifacts.
"Robert Moses, who was in charge of the fair, had six models of the '64 fair built. This is one of them and this shows exactly the pavilion and where it was that Andy Warhol was working," says Finkelpearl.
Warhol's portrait of Governor Rockefeller is also on view.
"This was done in 1967 and it's in this show because in our investigations we have found that it was actually an order from the governor of New York State, Nelson Rockefeller, to take the Warhol mural down," explains Queens Museum Curator Larissa Harris.
Visitors can also head upstairs to see the museum's permanent exhibitions on the entire 1964 World's Fair.
The new exhibit opens April 27th.
For more information, visit queensmuseum.org.