Andy Warhol is dead, but he's causing more trouble than ever. Though the famed artist died in 1987, his estate--valued at $220-$700 million--has yet to be closed. Here a journalist and biographer delivers startling revelations: tales of shameless greed and secret deals, unholy alliances and hidden treasure. Photos.
From the Publisher
Death is where this story begins; disaster is what follows. In 1987, Andy Warhol overcame his deep fear of hospitalization to seek treatment for a gallbladder ailment he'd neglected for fourteen years. "I'm not gonna make it," he said to his personal physician, who assured him that the surgery he faced was routine. The operation was both routine and successful, but less than twenty-four hours later, Warhol was dead. The shocking news set off a blizzard of activity: Warhol's East Side townhouse was sealed, his executor took charge, lawyers were called in, canvases were moved to secret warehouse (some never to be seen again), security guards were posted at the Factory. The world that Andy Warhol had carefully constructed over three decades was about to go public. A brilliant collector, compulsive shopper, and prolific worker, Warhol left vast holdings that included antique furniture and jewelry, real estate, a profitable magazine, contemporary art, and the single most valuable asset, his own unsold work - a collection so large that its appraisal would take months. In their early moments of panic, Warhol's associates set the value of his estate at $10-$15 million. Seven years later, with the estate not yet closed, some claimed that Warhol's empire was worth $220 million, while others would assert that it was worth $827 million. Finally, in April 1994, a New York surrogate's court judge fixed the value of Warhol's estate at more than $500 million. Shortly after Warhol's death, as directed in his will, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts - a not-for-profit grant-giving organization - was created. By 1990, however, the foundation, the estate that created it, and the attorney who at one time represented both entities would all be at war. At the heart of the conflict was the question of the ultimate worth of one of this century's most influential artists, and, as the multimillion-dollar battle was waged in court, in the gossip columns, and in the pages of ne