On this day, 26 years ago, influential American artist Andy Warhol succumbed to cardiac arrhythmia after an operation and passed away in New York City. Let us pay tribute to one of the most iconic figures ever to grace the creative world in this installment of Today in History.
The world lost one of the most monumental artists in history when Andy Warhol passed away in his sleep on the morning of February 22, 1987, in New York Hospital. News reports said Warhol was supposedly on the way to recovering from a routine gallbladder surgery when he was gripped by a sudden post-operative cardiac arrhythmia. The American artist was suffering from recurring gallbladder problems but delayed having it checked, afraid of hospitals and seeing doctors.
Throughout his art career, Warhol—who was born Andrew Warhola in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania—was a key figure in setting the style and feel of the art scene and celebrity culture that proliferated during the 1960s. He became involved in many creative fields such as photography, painting, and printmaking, and eventually became identified with the art movement that became known as pop art. The 58-year-old Warhol and his works were embraced and became highly recognized that at the time of his death, he was dubbed as the “Prince of Pop Art” by the New York Post on its headline announcing his passing.
Warhol’s brothers took his remains back to his birthplace in Pittsburgh and prepared his body for burial. He was dressed in a black cashmere suit, a paisley tie, a platinum wig, and sunglasses. After an open-coffin ceremony, Warhol was interred four days after his death in St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery, next to his parents.
You can take a look at some photos of Andy Warhol’s memorial service taken by Christoph Von Hohenburg here.
Warhol and his distinctly vibrant style continue to be inspirational among generations of artists, his influence permeating in nearly every artistic endeavor being explored by creative minds. We’d like to think that the previous articles we’ve written to celebrate the artistry of Andy Warhol certainly attest to that. If you’re a Warhol fan or simply appreciate art, we hope you can take time to read the said articles:
American Masters: Andy Warhol
Lessons from Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol: Superstar of Photo-booths, Polaroids, and Portraits!
The Factory: Andy Warhol’s Studio and Hip Hangout
Meet Andy Warhol’s Superstars
Minox 35 EL and Andy Warhol’s ‘Exposures’
Wearable Andy Warhol Art
San Diego Surf: The Last Film by Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol: Unseen Polaroids
Warhol, the Missing Portrait, and the Polaroid
…and there’s plenty more Andy Warhol articles right here!