Andy Warhol's Death
Andy Warhol died in New York City at 6:32 a.m. on February 22, 1987. According to news reports, he had been making good recovery from a routine gallbladder surgery at New York Hospital before dying in his sleep from a sudden heart attack. The hospital staff had failed to adequately monitor his condition and overloaded him with fluids after his operation, causing him to suffer from a fatal case of water intoxication, which prompted Warhol's lawyers to sue the hospital for negligence. Prior to his diagnosis and operation, Warhol delayed having his recurring gallbladder problems checked, as he was afraid to enter hospitals and see doctors.
Warhol's body was taken back to Pittsburgh by his brothers for burial. The wake was at Thomas P. Kunsak Funeral Home and was an open-coffin ceremony. He was holding a small prayer book and a red rose.
The funeral liturgy was held at the Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church on Pittsburgh's North Side. The eulogy was given by Monsignor Peter Tay. Fellow artist Yoko Ono also made an appearance. The coffin was covered with white roses and asparagus ferns.
Warhol's grave at St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery.After the liturgy, the coffin was driven to St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery in Bethel Park, a south suburb of Pittsburgh. At the grave, the priest said a brief prayer and sprinkled holy water on the casket. Before the coffin was lowered, Paige Powell dropped a copy of Interview magazine, an Interview t-shirt, and a bottle of the Estee Lauder perfume "Beautiful" into the grave. Warhol was buried next to his mother and father.
Weeks later a memorial service was held in Manhattan for Warhol on April 1, 1987 at St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York.
Warhol had so many possessions that it took Sotheby's nine days to auction his estate after his death; the auction grossed more than US$20 million. His total estate was worth considerably more, in no small part due to shrewd investments over the years.
On the twentieth anniversary of his death The Gershwin Hotel in New York City held a week-long series of events commemorating Warhol's art and his superstars. There was an award ceremony, a fashion show, and Blondie performed at the closing party. At the same time, The Carrozzini von Buhler Gallery in New York City held an exhibit titled, Andy Warhol: In His Wake. The exhibit featured the art of Warhol's superstars Ultra Violet, Billy Name, Taylor Mead, and Ivy Nicholson as well as art by a younger generation of artists who have been inspired by Warhol. One interactive sculpture in the exhibit, The Great Warhola, by Cynthia von Buhler, depicted Warhol as an arcade fortune-telling machine. The gallery was transformed to look like Warhol's silver factory. Factory Girl, a film about the life of Edie Sedgwick, starring Sienna Miller and Hayden Christensen, was also released one week before the anniversary of Warhol's death.