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Pissing on Queen Elizabeth I

In 1926, publishing giant, William Randolph Hearst, opened the lavish Warwick Hotel to cater to the elite, and his mistress, Hollywood actress Marion Davies. Hearst sought out famed illustrator and muralist Dean Cornwell to transform a salon in the hotel into a room devoted to Sir Walter Raleigh into an artistic experience. Cornwell covered the walls with scenes of Raleigh receiving his charter from Queen Elizabeth I in 1584, as well as landing on the shores of Roanoke in Virginia.

 

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Cornwell was to be paid a commission of $100,000 to paint the murals. But being the shrewd businessman he was, Hearst tried to make it difficult for the artist to collect. In protest, Cornwell stood his ground, and added some undesirable scenes to Hearst’s beloved Raleigh Room, including a man peeing on Queen Elizabeth, and a naked Native American, mooning the viewer.

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Once paid, Cornwell removed his painted protests, but a spiteful Hearst kept some of the murals covered for nearly 40 years. In 2004, the murals were fully restored and can be enjoyed in their full glory in the hotel’s restaurant, Murals on 54.

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Who: Dean Cornwell

What: Sir Walter Raleigh Murals

Where: Murals on 54th, Warwick Hotel

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2 Responses to “Pissing on Queen Elizabeth I”
  1. This mural in the Warwick Hotel once showed a man Pissing on Queen Elizabeth I http://t.co/xh25pWOaLb via @artnerdnewyork

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