Date of Award

Fall 12-21-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Harper Montgomery

Second Advisor

Nebahat Avcioglu

Academic Program Adviser

Nebahat Avcioglu


This thesis explores the social and cultural climate surrounding the art commissions for Philip Johnson's New York State Pavilion at the 1964-65 World's Fair. The research presented herein examines how the economic and cultural climate of 1960's America affected the architectural landscape at the World's Fair and how Johnson's Pavilion was integrated into it. Finally, this thesis examines how artworks by John Chamberlain, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and others responded to the commercial premise of the fair itself. This thesis argues that ultimately the artworks presented used the language of commercial art to critique the Fair and the American values for which it stood while also demonstrating the formal and thematic links between the Pop and Abstract Expressionist works exhibited.



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