The Day the Factory Died


It’s hard to imagine stumbling across the requiem for a heavy weight as Andy Warhol most certainly was in his day. Yet, that is precisely what happened to Christophe von Hohenberg one spring day in April, April Fool’s day to be exact, in 1987 when he happened upon Warhol’s Memorial Service at Manhattan’s famed St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Now published for the first time on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the Pop legend’s death, von Hohenberg’s lens captured a veritable time capsule of the social swirl of the era that Warhol had such a hand in shaping.


Diane Von Furstenberg

A little background: There is no denying Andy Warhol’s place in the visual art movement or what came to be known as pop art. He was unmistakeably, the centrifuge of an artistic and social set that remixed the cocktail of café society to include everything from porn stars and princes, pop music stars and international society figures, movie stars and drag queens, and the dynamic cast of dozens of the eras major figures (many now deceased) that attended the memorial service that long ago day in April.

Just imagine, if you will, a gathering that included speakers Yoko Ono and Picasso biographer John Richardson, and attendants such as major artists David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring, Robert Mapplethorpe, Francesco Clemente and Julian Schnabel. Even more electrifying were the notoriously famous mingling on the sidewalk of the steepled landmark like Debbie Harry, Diane von Furstenberg, Bianca Jagger, Halston, Liza Minnelli, Paloma Picasso, George Plimpton, Ahmet Ertegun, Dominick Dunne, Henry Geldzahler, Claus von Bulow, Leo Castelli, Holly Solomon, Steven Sprouse and many others.

This entourage of celebrity is perfectly captured in a book that is a vibrant record of one of the most exciting eras in New York’s cultural life from the swinging sixties through the increasingly edgy 1970s and up to the heady 1980s that was started in the haze of Studio 54 and ended with the ravages of AIDS.

Andy Warhol: The Day The Factory Died is a fitting tribute to the Pop master whose seemingly soulless art was frequently tinged with the pathos of death.


Calvin and Kelly Klein




~ by eaesthete on 11/01/09.

2 Responses to “The Day the Factory Died”

  1. This book will be a must-have for my library. I’ve always been fascinated by the nexus of society, fashion, and art as it has played out in the post-war era (in New York and Paris particularly). Andy Warhol was his own greatest work of art. How I would have loved to have been a guest at the Factory or a reveler at Studio 54 just to have watched this whole great performance of humanity unfold.

    BTW,your blog is truly fabulous. I enjoy it immensely.

    From your fan,

    • John,

      Thank you for your most kind comments. I so agree with you on Warhol being “his own greatest work of art.” In many ways, I believe he was the forerunner for the “me” celebrity of today, although he did, in fact, have talent or, at the very least, the recognition of it, which is not always the case in contemporary society.

      A quick traipse over to your blog — what a wonderful thing to be living your dream! And based on your inspirations, I love much, if not all, of what you do. Thank you for stopping by to say hello.

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