#TBT to that time Andy Warhol sent an imposter to UO

(Emerald Archives)

Students left artist and filmmaker Andy Warhol’s presentation a little disappointed: It was “lackluster,” according to UO special collections.

That’s probably because he wasn’t Andy Warhol.

It was October 6, 1967 and Warhol was in the middle of a national college tour (admission: 50 cents). Or rather, an actor named Alan Midgett was in the middle of a tour where he impersonated Andy Warhol. And not even well, apparently. Four days earlier, Midgett had presented at University of Utah and several students walked out, University of Utah’s Daily Utah Chronicle reported.

This article called his presentation at Utah “stale.” When asked “What role do you play in the production of your films?” he answered, “carelessly,” “I start them, I think.”

The Daily Utah Chronicle was more interested in the fake Warhol than the Emerald, and it reported on the entire thing–to the point where national media realized what Warhol had done.

After his presentation at Utah, the director of lectures at the university held onto Warhol’s $1,000 pay for the presentation, suspicious after two staff members of the art department at Utah told him that they had met Warhol and that wasn’t him.

According to the Daily Utah Chronicle:

“I decided I’d better hold on to the $1,000 check until we were certain of his identity,” Mr. Cracroft (the director of lectures) recalls. “The contract had specified Warhol himself must appear.”

In a news conference, Warhol said he sent Midgett because he thought the actor (who would later act in his films) was “more entertaining.”

Warhol did end up coming to UO on Feb. 21 and presenting another one of his films, called “****.”