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WOJNAROW

As I investigate the history of the A.I.D.S. crisis in Greenwich Village and delve into the Downtown Collection at Fales Library, It is difficult not to get caught up in one particular personal collection. Expansive and varied, the Wojnarowicz collection is uniquely alluring. I am fascinated by works in progress and ways in which the artistic process if made visible and legible and the Wojnarowicz collection offers unusual insight into the life and work of an exceptional and influential local artist.The Wojnarowicz Journals

David Wojnarowicz was a prominent member of the 1980s  East Village art scene. His collection includes hundred of photographs, manuscripts, correspondence and phone logs as well as original video and art.  Excitingly, Wojnarowicz’s notebooks have been digitized and are available here.

It’s amazing to be able to read through his notes, some fragmentary and some complex. The content is fascinating but it is also interesting to note that the Wojnarowicz notebooks are the most contemporary digitization project at Fales Library. With the support of the Wojnarowicz estate, hundreds of pages of his notebooks are available online.

David_Wojnarowicz

As an openly gay artist, Wojnarowicz’s depictions of eroticism and experience are implicitly controversial; but after the loss of his lover to A.I.D.S. and his own diagnosis in the mid-1980s, his work dealt explicitly with themes of disease and decay, confronting issues of ignorance and fear surrounding the A.I.D.S. epidemic. His documentation of his own experiences as a gay man struggling to articulate an unrepresented identity through art is powerful, violent and visual. Wojnarowicz’s use of the the male body imagery of death help to symbolize the violence done to real gay bodies.

Wojnarowicz was an iconic member of the A.I.D.S. activist and art scenes in the Greenwich Village area but he is maybe better known because of his legal clashes with the religious Right. After the American Family Association distributed cropped reproductions of his works in an attempt to eradicate funding for “obscene” art in 1989, Wojnarowicz successfully sued for defamation.

Wojnarowicz’s obscenity became the subject of debate again in 2010 when controversy emerged over his short film A Fire in My Belly. After the Catholic League complained about imagery that included ants crawling over a crucifix, the piece was removed from the Smithsonian exhibition “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture.” The controversial removal spawned debate about arts funding, freedom of speech, and queer representation. His work continues to ignite fury in American fascists decades after his death.

Wojnarowicz died of A.I.D.S. in 1992. His coffin was carried through Greenwich VIllage in the first “political funeral” of the A.I.D.S. epidemic.

“To turn our private grief for the loss of friends, family, lovers and strangers into something public would serve as another powerful dismantling tool. It would dispel the notion that this virus has a sexual orientation or a moral code. It would nullify the belief that the government and medical community has done very much to ease the spread or advancement of this disease.

I imagine what it would be like if friends had a demonstration each time a lover or a friend or a stranger died of AIDS. I imagine what it would be like if, each time a lover, friend or stranger died of this disease, their friends, lovers or neighbors would take the dead body and drive with it in a car a hundred miles an hour to washington d.c. and blast through the gates of the white house and come to a screeching halt before the entrance and dump their lifeless form on the front steps.”

DAVID WOJNAROWICZ

Works Cited

Cotter, Holland. “As Ants Crawl Over Crucifix, Dead Artist Is Assailed Again.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 10 Dec. 2010.

Kimmelman, Michael. “David Wojnarowicz, 37, Artist in Many Media.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 23 July 1992. Web.

Liebenthal, Ryann. “The Many Fictions of David Wojnarowicz, Chronicled in a New Biography | Capital New York.” The Many Fictions of David Wojnarowicz, Chronicled in a New Biography | Capital New York. Capital, 31 July 2012.

Greenwich Village is a neighborhood known for many things. Prior to moving to New York City and starting graduate school at New York University four weeks ago, I knew very little of its history. The first things that came to mind included the home of NYU, the Village Halloween Parade, and the large arch in Washington Square Park. As a student of history, I recalled that the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire occurred in Greenwich Village in 1911. Aside from those few facts, I felt completely unfamiliar with the neighborhood. I took advantage of the beautiful weather this past weekend and explored the area with a set objective. I wanted to find a list of monuments throughout Greenwich Village and examine their significance within the neighborhood and the ways in which memory changes over time.

I selected Washington Square Park (http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/washington-square-park/history) as my starting point. It is impossible to walk through or around Washington Square Park without noticing the Washington Arch, which the builders completed in 1892, or the large fountain from the 1870s. These two dominant structures overshadow other monuments scattered throughout the park. I specifically wanted to find the Garibaldi monument and the Holley monument. First, it is important to note that I possessed no prior knowledge of the existence of these two monuments. Perhaps, more importantly, I admit that I lacked the ability to place either individual in the context of history. I asked myself a few questions. Who were these men? Why do they have monuments in Washington Square Park?  And are their legacies still influential?  (Do village residents still remember them?)

garibaldi_jpleska_0928

I noticed the monument of Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807 – 1882) after a few minutes of wandering around the park. Unfortunately, the statue itself did not catch my original attention. The noise of skateboarders, who were using the statue’s base for tricks, initially directed me to the location of the structure. The monument provided little information regarding Garibaldi’s life and relation to the park. Later research informed me that Garibaldi played a vital role in the unification of Italy in the nineteenth century. He is best known for his leadership as a general and Italian nationalist. I discovered that Garibaldi had connections to New York because he lived in Staten Island for a period of time. Even more interestingly, President Lincoln extended an offer of command to Garibaldi during the American Civil War. The Italian-American community in New York donated the statue to Washington Square Park. Giovanni Turini, a veteran who served with Garibaldi, designed the monument and unveiled it in 1888. The monument stands in contrast to its current surroundings in the park. Although it commands a presence because of its height, I highly doubt most passersby take notice and reflect on its relevance.

holley_jpleska_0928

The next monument on my list in Washington Square Park was the Holley monument. The Holley bust can be found on the other side of the park from the Garibaldi monument. I noticed it for the first time during my visit, but walk past it frequently while on my way to campus. Alexander Lyman Holley (1832 – 1882) was an American engineer associated with the Bessemer steel process. Unlike the Garibaldi monument, the Holley statue contains an inscription which gives the viewer an idea of Holley’s background. However, the inscription alone does not tell the story of Holley. He received fifteen patents during his lifetime and participated in the efforts to establish professional societies for engineering and science. His contributions as an engineer during his life encouraged the construction of a monument to him. Upon his death in Brooklyn in 1882, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers, and the American Society of Civil Engineers lead the effort to create a monument. The dedication took place in 1890 in Washington Square Park.

After the Holley monument, I traveled to Christopher Park, but continued to reflect on the Garibaldi and Holley monuments. These two monuments alone made me consider the changing meanings of the landscape of Greenwich Village and, more specifically, Washington Square Park. The tributes to Garibaldi and Holley maintain a physical presence in the park. However, their lives and the memories of their histories no longer command attention from the average park visitor. At the time of completion and dedication, the monuments signified the societal contributions made by Garibaldi and Holley.  Now, people may use the statues as meeting places or for skateboarding purposes, but the park attracts visitors for many more reasons such as the dog parks, chess games, festivals, and the Washington Arch. It disappointed me to realize the monuments go unnoticed and the memories of the men they represent have faded. Yet, the monuments of Washington Square Park follow the same trend that occurs frequently with more the obscure monuments that scatter public places across the nation. To end on a positive note, I did discover one trend with these two monuments that made me realize they have not been completely forgotten. In recent years, associations and private institutions including the City Parks Foundation, the Municipal Art Society, the Smithsonian, and the National Endowments for the Arts have taken steps to preserve the  monuments by organizing funds for cleaning and repair. The preservation of these monuments guarantees they will be around for years to come and perhaps, they will come to mean something entirely different in the future.

Additional Resources

“Alexander Lyman Holley – ASME.” Accessed September 30, 2014. https://www.asme.org/engineering-topics/articles/manufacturing-processing/alexander-lyman-holley.

Campbell, Alfred S., “Garibaldi Statue,” Greenwich Village History, accessed September 29, 2014, http://gvh.aphdigital.org/items/show/1122.

“Washington Square Park Monuments – Alexander Lyman Holley : NYC Parks.” Accessed September 30, 2014. http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/washington-square-park/monuments/735.

“Washington Square Park Monuments – Giuseppe Garibaldi : NYC Parks.” Accessed September 30, 2014. http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/washington-square-park/monuments/571.

Tompkins Square Police Riot

One hundred and fourteen years after East Village anarchist Justus Schwab was arrested in Tompkins Square Park for “incitement to riot,” a group of anarchist squatters, homeless-rights activists and East Village residents clashed with the NYPD over what had begun as a dispute over a park curfew. In the summer of 1988, the question of gentrification was one that had already sparked protests and confrontations with the police, and on August 6th, the violence exploded in what is widely described as a police riot.

Photography Q. Sakamaki was on the scene to capture the protests, as well as homeless life in Tompkins Square Park.

Photographer Q. Sakamaki was on the scene to capture the protests, as well as homeless life in Tompkins Square Park.

A tent city had grown in and around the park for months, Tompkins Square long being a gathering place for homeless people, as well as the anarchist squatters who were drawn to the East Village for the Punk music and art scene. The city, while enjoying an economic boom after the slump of the 1970’s, was still facing an explosion of homelessness and while many homeless people struggled with addiction or mental illness, the increasingly common reason for the rising population on the streets was rising economic inequality. People simply were no longer able to afford homes in the city. Nowhere was this more true than Alphabet City, where the affordable tenements, shelters and flop houses were being torn down to make way for luxury condominiums like the Christodora House on Avenue B, where a single apartment could go for as much as one million.

The situation was not helped by the attitudes of people like police captain Gerald McNamara who was quoted the morning before the riot as saying, “It’s time to bring a little law and order back to the park and restore it to the legitimate members of the community.” He went on to express worry about the possibility of under-policing the situation, which proved to be ironic considering what would happen later that night.

(Content warning for violence and blood in the video above)

After a rally was cut short on July 31st, protestors gathered again on August 6th, prepared to prevent the closing of the park, which many argued was a decision that had been pushed through the community board by realtors hoping to make their properties more appealing to high income buyers. The police were waiting for them when they arrived, and while police estimates had as many as 700 protestors streaming into the park, the more number was closer to 200. The protestors came bearing signs proclaiming “Gentrification is class warfare” and as the curfew neared, they marched around the park once before preparing to re-enter the park, but were blocked by police on foot and on horseback. A few bottles were thrown from the crowd, and just before 1 a.m. the police charged, as many as fifty officers on foot and ten on horseback surrounding the crowd. The whole event was captured by artist Clayton Patterson, whose video showed officers running past superiors attempting to stop them, protestors bloodied and beaten by nightsticks, and in one startling moment, a cop shoving his nightstick into the spokes of a passing bike, sending the cyclist to the ground where he is then attacked. A number of people who were passing by the protest on their ways home were also attacked indiscriminately by the police, including a young black woman named Tisha Pryor who was accosted by an officer using racial slurs, before she and her companion, a reporter for Downtown magazine, were beaten. She is also seen on Patterson’s tape, crying and bleeding from the neck.

By the end of the night, 38 people were injured, including members of the press there to cover the protest, and the number of excessive force complaints rose over 100. The police commissioner at the time, Benjamin Ward, wrote a report blaming the precinct for the riot, although only two officers were charged with excessive force. The neighborhood was left with a sense of division. Some people blamed the riots on the anarchist music scene, arguing that bands like Missing Foundation incited violence as a part of their political message. Others expressed dismay at the way police action had turned the attention away from homelessness and affordable housing, to police brutality and finger pointing. It was agreed, almost unanimously, that the riot had been incited by the police, although little was done to address the larger reasons why individual officers felt such behavior was appropriate.

The police riot in 1988 was another spark in Tompkins Square’s long history as a touchstone for moments of economic injustice in New York. From the labor movement at the turn of the century, when thousands of unemployed fighting for labor rights were attacked and crushed by the NYPD, to the riots in 1988, and the continued fight against gentrification, the flash points seem to gravitate toward the East Village, and Tompkins Square Park. It connects the park to the larger, national problem of police brutality and the continued struggle against the pervasive national atmosphere that excuses and even condones such brutality against marginalized people.

sources:

New York Times, Melee in Tompkins Sq.: Violence and its Provocation, 1988

New York Times, Class Struggle Erupts Along Avenue B, 1988

Photographs by Q. Sakamaki

Mattson, Andrew O. and Stephen R. Duncombe. “Public Space, Private Place: The Contested Terrain of Tompkins Square Park.” Berkley Journal of Sociology 37 (1992): 129–61.

For more about squatters and housing rights in the East Village, Cari Luna’s novel, The Revolution of Every Day

Loisaida Street Sign

Puerto Rican New York has traditionally been split between two areas: East Harlem or El Barrio, and Alphabet City and the The Lower East Side, otherwise known by the ‘Spanglish’ name Loisaida. In the second half of the 20th Century the El Barrio became associated with socialist and anti-imperialist organizations such as the Young Lords and El Comité, and Loisaida with the Nuyorican cultural movement. However, this is too simplistic. After all it was in Loisaida that the Young Lords themselves were formed.

The Young Lords began in Chicago as a street gang reformed by Cha Cha Jiminez into a political movement. In early 1969 Puerto Rican activists from New York travelled west to meet Jiminez and were inspired by both the level of community organisation and the links made with groups such as the Black Panthers. On their return they decided to transform the Sociedad Albizu Campos – formed two years earlier at the State University of New York – into a local branch of the Young Lords.

This had all taken place in March and April but the organisation was formally announced to the public on July 26th. At a rally held in Tompkins Square Park to mark the Cuban revolution Felipe Luciano took the microphone and proclaimed the formation of the Young Lords in New York. Despite this Micky Melendez, a member of the organization, recalls where their focus lay; ‘Without an office, platform, or program, we went back to El Barrio to start the revolution’. There would be future Young Lords rallies in Tompkins Square but it was Harlem that they called home. Unsurprisingly it was the corner of East 111th Street and Lexington Avenue that was this year renamed ‘Young Lords Way’.

In Loisaida streets have also been renamed. Avenue C has been given the Spanglish name for the area but also of interest is the alternative name for East 3rd Street; Reverend Pedro Pietri Way.

Reverend Pedro Pietri Way, East 3rd Street

Reverend Pedro Pietri Way, East 3rd Street

Pietri was a playwright, poet and activist who was born in Puerto Rico but lived the majority of his life in New York. He was drafted to fight in the Vietnam War but returned radicalized and joined the newly formed Young Lords. In 1969 Pietri first performed his epic poem ‘Puerto Rican Obituary’ at a Young Lords rally. In ‘Puerto Rican Obituary’ Pietri documents the emptiness of the American dream and the struggle of Puerto Rican migrants who ‘died never knowing what the front entrance of the first national city bank looks like’. The same Puerto Ricans who ‘died yesterday today and will die again tomorrow’. Geographically the poem finds its home in Spanish Harlem where Pietri’s protagonists live and die, and Long Island Cemetery where they are buried. However, Pietri would soon shift the focus of his work to Loisaida and in 1994 displayed his most ambitious theatrical piece ‘El Puerto Rican Embassy’ on East 2nd Street.

On Reverened Pedro Pietri Street you can also find the Nuyorican Poets Café. The term Nuyorican was originally an ethnic slur but from the 1960s was re-appropriated into New York Puerto Rican identity. As the Young Lords and other organizations fell into decline it became a by-word for a new form of cultural nationalism and Pedro Pietri was one its founding members. The Nuyorican Poets Café is today decorated with a mural of Pietri’s image and inside continues his legacy in the arts. As both a Young Lord and a Nuyorican, Pietri remains a good example of how the political and cultural divide between El Barrio-Loisaida divide is not as large as it is often made out to be.

Sources

Puerto Rican Citizen: History and Political Identity in Twentieth-Century New York City by Lorrin Thomas

We Took the Streets: Fighting for Latino Rights with the Young Lords by Micky Melendez

Guidebooks: A Useful Resource

My research over the past year has been solely about museums and museum theory. So, it was with a bit of trepidation that I entered the New York Public Library last week to begin my research on the history of Greenwich Village. My destination was the wing that houses the Milstein Division, home to the library’s vast archival collection about United States and local history and genealogy. I was there to look at Greenwich Village guidebooks that I had found using the library’s online catalogue, a surprisingly manageable tool given the library’s innumerable holdings. When the library assistant brought over my requested materials and I opened the first oversize book, I couldn’t help but smile as I began to regain my historian bearings.

GreenwichVillageGuide_Map_1939

Cover of the Greenwich Village Guide, 1939. The map features popular sites in and around Greenwich Village. Copyright The Villager, 1939.

I found this fantastic map on the cover of the Greenwich Village Guide, published in 1939 by The Villager. Through sketches and old-timey labels, the map highlights some of the area’s most popular sites. The “Oldest Building in New York” sits along West Street, while New York University buildings tower above towards the east. At the center of the map, The Whitney Museum of American Art appears surrounded by the Church of the Ascension, the Washington Mews, and MacDougal Alley. I love how this map offers one person’s interpretation of the Village in the 1930’s, and the hand drawn artwork offers a welcoming contrast to the Google Maps images we so often see today.

Much of the guidebook is devoted to a series of historical walking tours that lead readers through different parts of the Village. Each tour begins with a starting point, and gives walking directions while telling participants about the buildings they are passing. The tours also discuss important people and events, as well as how the landscape has changed over the years. This format seems so different from the guidebooks we use today, which list businesses by category (hotels, amusements) and include little historical or relational context. I enjoyed the overall narrative that the walking tours give to the guidebook, a richness that resonates with the thriving, diverse identity that Greenwich Village is so well known for.

JohnWanamaker_Advertisement

Full-page advertisement for Wanamaker’s department store. Note the copyright at the bottom center of the page.

Another feature that struck me was the number of advertisements. Greenwich Village was (and still is) full of small businesses, and the guidebook includes ads for everything a person might need. The largest ad is for Wanamaker’s department store, which was located on East 9th Street in the East Village. Its owner, John Wanamaker, was the first merchant to print a full-page, copyright newspaper advertisement in 1879. The Greenwich Village Guide was clearly a continuation of the company’s strategy to capitalize on print advertising, as the store is mentioned both on the cover and in many of the articles inside.

Looking at guidebooks from different eras can be a great strategy to understand how a place changes over time. Word choice, site selection, and interpretation may mirror larger cultural and political trends happening during the period. The development of a building or street can be tracked. Changes in graphics and typography can parallel art movements, and the materiality of a guidebook can reflect advancements in printing technologies. Plus, they’re pretty cool. The guidebooks offered a great start to my research, and I am excited to see what else I can learn as the semester progresses.

If you’d like to search the NYPL for guidebooks that relate to your research, please visit: http://catalog.nypl.org/search~S1?/dNew+York+%28N.Y.%29+–+Guidebooks./dnew+york+n+y+guidebooks/-3%2C-1%2C0%2CB/exact&FF=dnew+york+n+y+guidebooks&1%2C1115%2C

You have heard of the Vanderbilts and heard of the Whitneys. Their names are brandished across federal buildings, scholarships and estates across the country. Its not hard to believe that the heiress of two of the wealthiest families in America, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, was able to find the time and resources to put together the museum credited with popularizing American Modern Art. What does seem rather improbable though, is that the daughter of a Doylestown, Pennsylvania grocer became the founding director of The Whitney Museum of American Art.

Juliana Force, C. 1940

Juliana Force, C. 1940, Via Archives of American Art

Here, I’m referring to Mrs. Juliana Force, a prolific administrator who found her calling in the employ of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney.

Gertrude Whitney began showing her art collection in 1907. Given the growing administrative tasks associated with collection and exhibition, Whitney decided to hire the personal secretary her sister-in-law Helen Hay had recommended. Enter Juliana Force. While Mrs. Force had no formal training in art, she had worked as a personal secretary and even ran her own secretarial school prior to working for Gertrude Whitney.

We can assume it was this administrative prowess that helped her to prepare an exhibition of Mrs. Whitney’s forward thinking collection at New York’s exclusive and devoutly traditional Colony Club. In organizing this and early predecessors to the famous and still running Whitney Biennial, Juliana Force found her footing as one of Modern arts most active advocates.

Much like her more famous employer, she was described as tireless and enthusiastic when it came to the cultivation of an artist’s community. She was largely responsible for the selection, acquisition and later exhibition of new works for Mrs. Whitney’s collection. While Mrs. Force did not necessarily possess the natural eye for quality and innovation in art that Gertrude Whitney did, she had a keen ability in fostering inter-artist relationships. She also possessed the practical know-how necessary for managing, expanding and promoting a large collection.

Identification on verso (handwritten): Mrs. Juliana Force, Possibly Woodstock Art Conference shortly before her death

Juliana Force, C. 1946, Via Archives of American Art

These valuable traits did not go unnoticed when it came time to transform Gertrude Whitney’s informal studio club into a full-fledged museum. In 1931, following the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s unceremonious rejection of Mrs. Whitney’s offer to donate her art collection (and to build a new wing to house it), The Whitney Museum of American Art came into being at 8-12 West 8th street. The building was comprised of 4 adjacent houses joined together; a project that of course fell under Juliana Force’s sizable jurisdiction.

Naturally, the woman who had arranged countless acquisitions and coordinated many a Whitney exhibition was selected as the museum’s first director. This selection cemented an idea that anyone involved in the Whitney Studio Club or even the New York art scene already knew: that Juliana Force was as much a part of the founding of the Whitney Museum of American Art as Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney was.

While we may not immediately associate her name with the now famous institution, Juliana Force serves as a reminder that it takes a lot more that money to support and highlight an emerging art movement.

If you are at all interested in Juliana Force, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney or the founding of the Whitney and its early incarnations, I highly recommend a visit to the following sites:

Smithsonian Institute Archives of American Art, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney Papers 1851-1975

Juliana Force and American Art: A Memorial Exhibition 1949

Whitney Museum Library, Artists’ Correspondence and Ephemera

The Whitney Museum of American Art: History of the Whitney

Regarded today as one of the most influential bands in rock music, The Velvet Underground made their first impressions in Greenwich Village, where they would eventually be taken into Andy Warhol’s sphere of influence and creativity. The band first found itself encountering Andy Warhol at Café Bizarre. The band and Andy Warhol created The Dom as a nightclub to showcase their artistic work. Greenwich Village itself provided the band and Warhol as a venue to perform.

The Velvet Underground & Nico with Andy Warhol

The Velvet Underground & Nico with Andy Warhol.

Lou Reed and John Cale founded The Velvet Underground (initially called “The Velvets”) during the 1960s in New York City. First, Reed and Cale needed to have set band members. Sterling Morrison and Maureen Tucker became guitarist and drummer. The band began performing songs that reflected both cultural aspects of life in New York City as well as the visible beat movement happening in Greenwich Village with artists like Bob Dylan. Eventually, the band’s then-manager Al Aronowitz got them a spot as the house band of Café Bizarre, which was located at 106 West 3rd Street.

Rick Allmen owned and ran Café Bizarre as a place where the beatniks could come together. Avant-garde artists in different disciplines, such as music, poetry, and film, also began to go there. The club’s themes and patrons fit well with what The Velvets set out to accomplish in their music at the time. It was on the way to one of their sets at Café Bizarre when Reed wrote the song “Run, Run, Run” on the back of an envelope. One night while playing at Café Bizarre, The Velvet Underground (still playing as “The Velvets”) first gained connections with Andy Warhol. Paul Morrissey, a film director who frequently worked with Warhol and managed Warhol’s Factory, saw the band perform on New Year’s Eve and decided they were right to become the house band for Warhol’s new club. The next night Warhol also came to Café Bizarre to see The Velvets. Eventually, the band was not pleased with their residency at Café Bizarre. They played the song “The Black Angel’s Death Song,” which they knew would result in the band being fired. Café Bizarre unfortunately closed, but its memory still remains important for music in Greenwich Village and The Velvet Underground.

Paul Morrissey, Andy Warhol, and Lou Reed. 1966. Taken by Nat Finkelstein.

Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey became The Velvet Underground’s managers in 1965. The Dom became the new club in Greenwich Village where they became house band under Warhol’s creative influence. Located on St. Marks Place, The Dom was originally part of the Polish National Home. As the bohemians and beatniks began to takeover the area of the East Village, the building became a restaurant before Warhol and Morrissey turned it into a nightclub. During The Velvet Underground’s time at The Dom, Warhol created a show of film and lights to surround their performances. Named the “Exploding Plastic Inevitable,” Warhol and The Velvet Underground created a psychedelic experience to showcase in Greenwich Village. The band and their managers did not actually own The Dom during this time and performed in it as a sublet. Before getting a permanent contract on The Dom, they decided to go tour Los Angeles and came back to find that Bob Dylan’s manager took the club’s lease. After going through different names (“The Balloon Farm” and “Electric Circus”), The Dom closed in 1970.

Advertisement for an Exploding Plastic Inevitable show at The Dom.

Only a portion of the full story of The Velvet Underground took place in Greenwich Village. The Velvet Underground and Andy Warhol along with the clubs they performed in only spent brief times in Greenwich Village, but they still contributed significantly to the overall arts and culture of the area in the 1960s.

Harvard, Joe. The Velvet Underground & Nico (33 1/3). New York: Continuum, 2010.

Comenas, Gary. “Andy Warhol 1966.”Warholstars. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2014. < http://www.warholstars.org/chron/1966.html >

Comenas, Gary. “Café Bizarre.” Warholstars. 2014. 28 Sept 2014.
< http://www.warholstars.org/velvet_underground_cafe_bizarre.html >

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