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John Lennon's Risqué Art Is Back In Oak Brook, Where A Judge Ordered It Burned

By Julia Weeman in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 3, 2012 9:00PM

"Dream Power", one of the artworks in John Lennon's 1970 show
In 1970, to commemorate his 1969 wedding to Yoko Ono, John Lennon presented a suite of lithographs of his drawings entitled Bag One at Merrill Chase's gallery in Oak Brook. As some of the drawings were erotic in nature, they had drawn complaints when shown in Toronto, and were confiscated by Scotland Yard on grounds of pornography in London.

When the lithographs were then put on display in Oak Brook, the show was restricted to adults over the age of 21. However, that didn't stop DuPage County Chief Circuit Judge Bert J. Rathje from leading an obscenity raid, during which he confiscated five lithographs and ordered that they be burned.

The drawings that were burned in their lithograph form are now on display at the DoubleTree Hotel in Oak Brook, in an exhibit entitled, The Art of John Lennon: A Return To Oak Brook. The show benefits Gilda's Club Chicago, one of several community centers established in Gilda Radner's memory to support people with cancer. The work is on view through today at the hotel, and there is a $2 suggested donation.