The 1968 Exhibit: She Shot Andy Warhol, June 3, 1968

At 4:51 PM on this day 42 years ago, the pop artist Andy Warhol was declared clinically dead.

He had been shot a few hours earlier in the studio/offices known as "the Factory" in lower Manhattan. *The shooter was Valerie Solanas, an unhinged radical feminist who had written a pornographic play that she wanted Warhol-- then at the peak of his notoriety--to produce as a film. *(A virtually minute-by-minute chronology of the incident has been compiled, and is available on the Warholstars website.) *In spite of severe injuries to multiple organs, Warhol somehow survived, though he never completely recovered. *He died after gall-bladder surgery in 1987 at the age of 58.


Valerie Solanas was arrested some hours after the shooting, after turning herself in to a policeman on a beat. *She was later quoted as saying that the reason she shot Warhol was that she "just wanted him to pay attention to me. Talking to him was like talking to a chair." *A movie based on the incident, with a terrific performance by Lili Taylor as Solanas, was released in 1996.

Besides the 1966 play that Warhol turned down, the only other literary product of Valerie Solanas that survives is the virulently anti-male "SCUM Manifesto," written in 1967 and then mimeographed and distributed by Solanas in 1968 on the streets of New York. * A portion of the single-spaced document (with*obscenities removed)*is reproduced here (courtesy of Cabinet magazine,

scum-19684Summer 2005). * SCUM may (or may not) stand for the "Society for Cutting Up Men," and the manifesto lists a "few examples of the most obnoxious and harmful types [of men]: *rapists, politicians . . . ; lousy singers and musicians; Chairmen of Boards; Breadwinners; landlords; owners of greasy spoons and restaurants that play Musak . . . . ; cops; tycoons; scientists . . . ; liars and phonies . . . ; all men in the advertising industry . . .; all members of the armed forces. . . ."

After the shooting and conviction, Solanas served a three-year prison term. *In the 1970s, she was hailed by some leading feminists as a victim and martyr, and as "an outstanding champion of women's rights." *She died in 1988 at the age of 52.