World's Fair 50th Anniversary Features Pavilion Tour, Warhol Exhibit

By Katie Honan on April 22, 2014 6:33am 

 Andy Warhol's short-lived art featuring enlarged mugshots of the NYPD's most wanted men will be examined in a new exhibit at the Queens Museum.
Andy Warhol's short-lived art featuring enlarged mugshots of the NYPD's most wanted men will be examined in a new exhibit at the Queens Museum.
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Queens Museum

CORONA — The 50th Anniversary of the World's Fair in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park will be celebrated this week with the rare opening of the New York State Pavilion and an exhibit that offers an in-depth look at the controversial art made by Andy Warhol for the 1964 festival.

The pavilion will open to the public for a few hours on April 22, offering a glimpse inside the historic structure, which recently got a fresh coat of paint.

Admission to the Philip Johnson-designed structure is free, and it will be open from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. 

The Queens Museum will also feature an exhibit looking at the controversial art from Andy Warhol, who was commissioned to create work for the fair.

For Warhol's interpretation of the fair's theme, "Peace Through Understanding," he enlarged the mugshots of the NYPD's 13 most wanted men from 1962 and displayed them.

Fair officials later painted over the art, which they found offensive, with silver paint, according to the Queens Museum.

The pop artist later created a set of "Most Wanted Men" paintings using the same screens he used for the fair's artwork.

The exhibit, "13 Most Wanted Men: Andy Warhol and the 1964 World's Fair," examines the controversy of the art and attempts to figure out who ordered it be destroyed.

Photos from the fair, along with documents and memorabilia from the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, will be on display for the show, which opens April 27 to the public and runs through September.

"This exhibition explores a powerful and much-overlooked moment in 1964 that intertwined art, history, politics, cultural mores, sexuality, architecture, and freedom of expression," said Tom Finkelpearl, the most recent executive director of the museum.

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