Censorpedia: An Interactive Database of Censorship Incidents

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Featured Case

13 Most Wanted Men Mural.jpg

Artist: Andy Warhol

Year: 1964

Date of Action: April 18, 1964

Region: North America

Location: New York State Pavilion, Queens

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Installation, Public Art

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


What is Censorpedia?

Censorpedia is a crowdsourced online database of censorship cases within the arts and in culture. It is aimed at those researching censorship, at activists working for freedom of expression and at artists and other cultural producers whose expression has been subject to censorship or attempted censorship.

Censorpedia documents censorship incidents by providing the who, what, when, where and why. By providing a repository of information about what is vulnerable to censorship and about the strategies and tactics that have defeated previous’ censorship attempts, Censorpedia aids the fight for free expression.

Researchers can search for a specific case, year or keyword using the search box, as well as browse by medium, by grounds for censorship, or explore a random case.

Activists can search for ongoing cases or contribute a case that is ongoing or recently resolved.

Artists and cultural producers are similarly invited to add cases they are directly involved with or are familiar with first hand.

Censorpedia builds on the landmark 1994 art project The File Room, initiated by Muntadas.

For more information about censorship visit our Annotated Bibliography

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