A Second Look at Andy Warhol’s College Scam

It happened at the Rochester Institute of Technology, too.

Earlier this year, we wrote about a Utah TV station’s sit-down with a pair of former University of Utah student reporters who helped uncover a late 1960s Andy Warhol ruse. Warhol sent to their campus, and separate speaking engagements at several other western universities, a duded up impostor – Allen Midgette.

As a reader informed us this week, this also happened closer to FishbowlNY home. In March 1967, a story on the front page of the Rochester Institute of Technology’s student newspaper Reporter was headlined “Warhol Attracts Large Group at Student Activities Hour.” The article noted how Warhol had presented a 35-minute film featuring people speaking about Bufferin and done a Q&A.

A year later, Reporter feature editor Neil Shapiro had a very different piece on the front page, published in the wake of the efforts of those aforementioned University of Utah students. It was cleverly headlined “One for the Money – Two for the Show” and included, as was the case in the Utah student newspaper, a side-by-side photo comparison.

RITReporterWarholMidgette

As we noted in our original March 2015 item, there’s a fun feature here for someone willing and able to convince Midgette to revisit it all. The performer doesn’t make too many public appearances, but he was part of a panel discussion earlier this fall for a Marjorie Cameron art show at the Jeffrey Deitch gallery.

P.S. In 1969, the Reporter switched from a newspaper to a magazine format. To see what they’re reporting on today, check out the Twitter feed @reportermag.