Category Archives: Billy Klüver

The Popular Image Exhibition record & Andy Warhol

The Washington Gallery of Modern Art put on The Popular Image Exhibition between April 18th and June 2nd 1963. Eleven artists were represented including Claes Oldenburg, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauchenberg, John Wesley, Tom Wesselman, Robert Watts, James Rosenquist, Vern Blosom, George Becht, Andy Warhol and Jim Dine.

Billy Klüver, Swedish engineer turned art director, recorded interviews with all eleven artists during March 1963 and edited the inerviews, which were subsequently released on an LP record. The record was housed in a plain whitepaper inner sleeve together with the exhibition catalogue and these were sold inside an envelope. The cover image on the catalogue and the outer envelope was designed by Jim Dine. The image on the envelope was printed in a shade of blue n a white background, while that on the catalogue cover was printed in black on a white background.

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According to the catalogue, Andy Warhol was represented by ten oil paintings on canvas. There is no mention of his “Giant Size $1.57 Each” record sleeve. So how did the exhibition record come to be sold in this new Warhol designed and produced cover?

Were there records over after the exhibition that were put into new covers. or did Billy Klüver have a stock of records without covers that he felt needed new sleeves? Whichever was the case, he appears to have asked Andy Warhol to produce a new cover, resulting in the screening of the “Giant Size” cover.

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Neither Andy Warhol (who died on 22nd February 1987) nor Billy Klüver (1935-2004) are alive today to relate the true history of the Popular Image Exhibition record and the “Giant Size $1.57 Each cover.

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