Single Lot Auction-Andy Warhol`s "The Money Hat"-November 11, 2015
Lot: 1Andy Warhol, Halston Hat and Money Sculpture
Andy Warhol (American 1928-1987). Entitled, "The Money Hat". Comprised of a Halston straw hat and ten dollar bills "knitted" by Warhol with straight pins. One ten dollar bill is signed, "Andy Warhol" in marker. Circa 1972, Warhol presented the hat to his friend and confidant Dr. Robert Giller as a birthday present. The lot includes a Warhol signed copy of "Andy Warhol Exposures" which includes a photograph of the doctor wearing his gift. The book is inscribed, "to the doc, Love, Andy" and includes a doodle. The dust jacket has a faint Andy Warhol signature. From Lesley Frowick, Halston's Niece: "This legendary Halston/Warhol money hat was the missing link to the recent Halston Warhol exhibit that I co-curated with the Warhol Museum. I had known of the hat through conversations with my dear uncle Halston and of course knew of Dr. Giller. Giller had actually helped my infant sister get through a rough patch when the traditional doctors could not find a remedy for her unique medical challenge. Dr. Giller put her on a specific nutritional regimen which according to my stepmother “he saved her life”. In our family Dr. Giller has always been held in high regard. Early on in my research I had learned through Bill Dugan, Halston’s right hand man, that Dr. Giller had died tragically in a car wreck. I had given up all hope of ever locating the hat following this sad news. As with so many serendipitous elements surrounding my curatorial process, just before the grand opening at the Warhol Museum I received an email through LinkedIn. While typically such emails land in the trash bin, this one peeked my interest as I noticed a mention of Warhol. When I read the email from Nancy Lee about how she owns the hat and was offering it up to include in our show I was ecstatic! Immediately I called Nancy and the rest is history. Halston and Andy were great friends who admired each others stellar accomplishments, both being self made men. They supported each other throughout their respective careers; Andy was omnipresent at Halstons fashion shows, while Halston bought slews of Warhols displaying them on the walls of his fabulous midtown Manhattan home and atelier. Halston who understood the zeitgeist of the moment, also commissioned Warhol to create ads for his haute couture company as well as solicited Warhol art contributions to the many fund raising events that he orchestrated. After all, they were both great patrons of the arts. The hat (from Halston 1978 collection) is a unique example of one of their collaborations and Dr. Giller was the lucky recipient at his 30th birthday party hosted at Halston’s townhouse. Halston used to say that Andy was so cheap he would have the ancient screens at the house her rented from Andy in Montauk “repaired” with a patchwork of little squares instead of replacing the entire screen. I was surprised to see that the bills used for the sculpture are ten dollar bills instead of ones! Maybe it was Halston who also supplied the money? Whatever the truth this hat is one of a kind as were its creators.