13 Most Wanted Men

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Artist: Andy Warhol

Year: 1964

Date of Action: August 2021

Region: North America

Location: New York State Pavilion, Queens

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion


Confronting Bodies: Governor Nelson Rockefeller

Description of Artwork: '13 Most Wanted Men' was part of a prominent set of public commissions made for the exterior of the Philip Johnson-designed New York State Pavilion for the 1964 World's Fair in Queens, NY. For the piece, Warhol enlarged mug shots from a NYPD booklet featuring the 13 most wanted criminals of 1962, forming a chessboard of front and profile views. '13 Most Wanted Men' was installed on April 15, 1964.

The Incident: The piece was only visible for 48 hours. By order of Governor Nelson Rockefeller, it 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 square.

Results of Incident: Later in the summer of 1964, Warhol produced another set of the Most Wanted Men paintings with the screens he had used to make the mural.


‘13 Most Wanted Men: Andy Warhol and the 1964 World’s Fair’ at the Queens Museum, by Maika Pollack, Observer, 04/30/14

Andy Warhol - Most wanted. When "13 Most Wanted Men" was unveiled 50 years ago the organisers were so horrified they painted over it. This year the Queens Museum, New York, is making it their centrepiece, The Economist, May 9th 2014

Fifty years ago, Andy Warhol sparked a minor scandal at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, EXHIBITION: Warhol Museum, Pittsburg, PA: September 27, 2014 – January 4, 2015

Andy Warhol's Scandalous "13 Most Wanted Men" Invade Queens Museum, Complex, by Susan Cheng APR 16, 2014

13 Most Wanted Men: Andy Warhol and the 1964 World’s Fair, Queens Museum exhibition, Apr 27 - Sep 7 2014