Missing no. 1

Philip Morsberger’s attention to images found in the media connects him to the burgeoning Pop Art movement (1955-1970), which focused on news and consumerism of the time. He painted Missing no. 1 while a Professor of Art at Miami University in the 1960’s. Western College for Women, now Miami University’s Western Campus, served as a training ground for civil rights activists during the historic 1964 Freedom Summer. Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner pictured here were among those who trained at Miami to assist with black voter registration in the South. On June 21st, the three men were brutally murdered by the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi, sparking national outrage. Morsberger’s rendering of the FBI’s Missing Persons poster, washed- out and overlaid with paint, is his response to the murders and the senseless loss of life it represented.

Philip Morsberger (American, b. 1933) Missing no. 1, 1964 Oil on Canvas On loan from the Butler Institute of American Art