Thursday, October 26, 2006

A long 15 minutes (UPDATED 2X) has its annual list of Top-Earning Dead Celebrities, and Andy Warhol checks in at no. 6. He brought in $19 million last year:

"Most recently, his estate, managed by the nonprofit Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, signed off on a new apparel line with jeansmaker Levi Strauss & Co. It will also reap royalties from a licensing deal with Barneys New York. The high-end department store will feature Warhol's work in a holiday campaign--think bags, billboards and store windows--aptly titled 'Happy Warholidays.'"

Here is the rest of the top 10:

1. Kurt Cobain
2. Elvis
3. Charles Schulz
4. John Lennon
5. Albert Einstein
6. Warhol
7. Dr. Seuss
8. Ray Charles
9. Marilyn Monroe
10. Johnny Cash

The Washington Times reports here. My post on last year's list (when Warhol placed fourth) is here.

UPDATE: Relatedly, the lead story in today's New York Times Style section is entitled "The Selling of St. Andy." It says "the marketing of Andy Warhol is in full flood" -- in carpets, coffee mugs, calendars, greeting cards, T-shirts, tote bags, a line of Levi’s jeans called Warhol Factory X ($185), shoes, plastic Day-Glo colored watches by Seiko, makeup. Even a Pez dispenser.

What would Warhol have thought of all this? Dealer Jeffrey Deitch is quoted as saying it's “the fulfillment of Andy’s fantasy about business art. I think he would have been amazed to see what has developed.”

UPDATE 2X: A reader points out that I somehow left Marilyn Monroe off the list. Now corrected above.