As part of our Empire Tweets Back project—in which we watch all eight hours of Andy Warhol's film "Empire"—we did a little rooting around in the WNYC and Museum of Modern Art archives to see what we could find in relation to Andy Warhol and the Empire State Building. Here's a small round-up of some of the more interesting bits.
MoMA has a number of excellent pictures of the Empire State Building in its permanent collection. Among them, this staggering, vertigo-inducing image by Lewis Hine of the building under construction in 1930. More experimental is this work by Abelardo Morell, which shows the building projected onto a bed with a camera obscura. Plus: a helpful link to all of Andy Warhol's works in MoMA's permanent collection—which includes "Empire."
On the radio end, our research also uncovered a few interesting bits. Back in August of 1968, WNYC arts contributor Ruth Bowman, host of the program "Views on Art," sat down for a Q&A with Warhol Factory star Ultra Violet. In addition to discussing her own career as an underground film star, the highly charming actress and artist also discusses the purpose of Warhol's films. Find her thoughts on "Empire" at about Minute 22.
In one of the most dramatic incidents to ever involve the Empire State Building, in July of 1945, a B-25 crashed into the 79th floor of the building as it made its way to Newark Airport in heavy fog. A total of 14 people died in the incident. This generated some dramatic photojournalistic images (such as the archival image that is now part of MoMA's collection, at top). Below, listen to the Universal Newsreel report on the crash. It's the first report on the reel. (Also, if you keep on listening, you'll hear some vintage sports coverage—including talk of a Brooklyn Dodgers game. Flashback!)