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Andy Warhol Chronology

Andy Warhol Goes to Church

Although Andy Warhol was not thought of as being particularly religious when he was alive, he was later 'outed' as a regular church-goer by art writer John Richardson who spoke of Warhol's Catholicism at his memorial service in 1987. Richardson also mentioned that Warhol was "exceedingly devout" in an essay published in Sacred Monsters, Sacred Masters in 2001. During his lifetime Warhol rarely spoke about going to church but in the March 1975 issue of Interview he mentioned his church-going activities in an interview with Lee Radziwill that took place February 2, 1975.

John Richardson [from "Warhol at Home" in Sacred Monsters, Sacred Masters (London: Pimlico, 2001), p. 247-8]:

"To believe the envious Truman Capote, Andy was a Sphinx without a secret. In fact, he did have a secret, one that the kept dark from all but his closest friends: he was exceedingly devout - so much so that he made daily visits to the church of Saint Vincent Ferrer on the Upper East Side of Manhattan... Although famously thrifty, he was also secretly charitable. Besides giving financial support, he often spent evenings working in a shelter for the homeless run by the Church of the Heavenly Rest. It was not soppy social consciousness or guilt that prompted Andy's good works; it was atavism as personified by his adored and adoring mother, the pious Julia."

Excerpt from "Lee" by Andy Warhol (Interview magazine, March 1975, v. 5 no. 3):

Lee Radziwill: "Did you go to Church today Andy?"

Andy Warhol: "Yes, but I only stayed a minute."

Lee Radziwill: "Why?"

Andy Warhol: "Because I thought I was going to be late. I got there right before it started and left right as it was starting."

Fred Hughes: "Well in these times, any boy who goes every Sunday, even if he only stays a minute is a devout Catholic."

Lee Radziwill: "This is pretty personal, but do you ever take Communion?"

Andy Warhol: "Well - I never feel that I do anything bad. But I do take Communion sometimes."

Lee Radziwill: "And you go to Confession before? Do you give up things for Lent?"

Fred Hughes: "He gives up things for his figure."

Andy Warhol: "I think it's really pretty to go to church. The church I go to is a pretty church. They have so many masses."

Lee Radziwill: "I think they've almost all made it too easy for Catholics - you can go to Saturday mass and that counts for Sunday. And Sunday if you miss the morning you can go in the evening and you don't really have to go to Confession now."

Fred Hughes: "The divorce thing is one of the cruelest things the Church ever did, caused the most heartache."

Lee Radziwill: "It'll change. Everything takes forever."

to: FEBRUARY 2, 1975: LEE RADZIWILL ASKS WARHOL "DID YOU GO TO CHURCH TODAY?"

Andy Warhol