Birmingham Race Riot
19 15/16 x 24 in. (50.7 x 61 cm)
(Pittsburgh, PA, 1928 - 1987, New York, NY)
Medium and Support:
Serigraph on paper
The Charles Rand Penney Collection of the Memorial Art Gallery
Location: Not currently on view
The Charles Rand Penney Collection
Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT
X + X (Ten Works by Ten Painters)
Andy Warhol frequently appropriated images by other artists for his work. In this case, the image was originally a photograph by Charles Moore in "Life" magazine, May 17, 1963.
[Gallery label text 2013]
This image first appeared in Andy Warhol’s Disasters series, in which the artist selected, cropped, altered, and reproduced mass-circulated news photographs. The series commented upon America’s social ills with photos of suicides, car crashes and nuclear explosions. Birmingham Race Riot captures the racial tensions that gripped the country during the Civil Rights Movement.
Warhol was an eager consumer of newspapers and magazines; he likely saw this photo of the Birmingham riot when it was published in LIFE magazine on May 17, 1963, only five days after the event it immortalized. The original photograph was taken by Charles Moore.