October 14: Self-Portrait, 1980, is exhibited for the first time in Selected 20th Century American Self-Portraits at the Harold Reed Gallery, a benefit for the Third Street Music School Settlement.
After several incidents where she loses consciousness, and on the insistence of her sons, Richard and Hartley, Neel undergoes tests at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. It is discovered that she has sick sinus syndrome leading to episodes of bradycardia. A pacemaker is immediately inserted to regulate her heart rate.
February 5-March 1: Alice Neel ’81: A Retrospective, 1926-1981 is held at the C. Grimaldis Gallery in Baltimore.
July: Travels to the Soviet Union with her sons and daughters-in-law and several grandchildren for a solo exhibition of her work at the Artists’ Union in Moscow. It is organized by Phillip Bonosky, who is the Daily Worker correspondent in Moscow.
March 29: New York City Mayor Ed Koch hosts a dinner at Gracie Mansion in honor of Neel, showcasing the portrait of him she has recently completed and showing a few of her other paintings. The Guarneri String Quartet performs. Many of Neel’s sitters are in attendance, including David Soyer, the cellist with the Guarneri; the Mayor; Henry Geldzahler; Michel Auder; Duane Hanson; Annie Sprinkle; and Andy Warhol. Auder and Warhol record the event in video and photography respectively.
Signs on with the Robert Miller Gallery, New York. Her first exhibition there is Alice Neel Non-Figurative Works (May 4-June 5).
Receives a commendation from the City of Philadelphia, presented by Richard Doran, City Representative and Director of Commerce.
March 17-April 17: Participates in the National Academy of Design’s 158th Annual Exhibition and receives the Benjamin Altman Figure Prize for $3,000.
Receives a $25,000 artist fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Patricia Hill’s book Alice Neel (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1983), the first fully illustrated monograph on Neel’s work, is published. It features Neel’s own account of her life, gathered through interviews with Hills.
February: Has a solo exhibition at the Robert Miller Gallery, exhibiting forty paintings representing her work from the 1930s to the present.
February 21: Appears on Johnny Carson’s ‘The Tonight Show’ and proves herself a skilled entertainer.
On a routine visit to the Massachusetts General Hospital to have her pacemaker checked, X-rays indicate that she has advanced colon cancer which has already spread to her liver. She immediately undergoes surgery and afterwards returns to Vermont to stay with Hartley and Ginny and their children while she recuperates. While there, she is interviewed by Judith Higgins of Artnews for a cover story. 
Spring--summer: Despite her poor health, in April, she returns to New York and Spring Lake. With the help of Richard and Nancy, she continues her busy schedule. Among her many commitments, interviews for the ArtNews article continue, and, on June 19, she makes a second appearance on ‘The Tonight Show’ during which she insists that Johnny Carson visit her in New York to sit for a portrait.
July: She returns to Vermont to spend time with Hartley and his family and to lecture at the Vermont Studio Center.
Receives chemotherapy treatment for her cancer. Much debilitated, she spends the end of the summer in Spring Lake with Richard and his family. Despite her weakened condition, she continues to paint.
Early fall: She returns to her apartment in New York.
October: Appears on the cover of the ArtNews issue that features the article by Judith Higgens, ‘Alice Neel and the Human Comedy’. Robert Mapplethorpe visits early in October to photograph Neel. Plans to return to Vermont to visit Hartley and his family and to attend a lecture in her honor at the Fleming Museum in Burlington, Vermont. However, she is too weak to travel, and on October 13, she dies, with her family at her side, at her apartment in New York.  
In a private ceremony, surrounded by her sons, their wives and her grandchildren, she is buried, according to her wishes, near her studio in Vermont.
Obituaries recount her courageous life, her dedication to art, and her struggles against the tide of the art world. William G. Blair of the New York Times calls her (October 14) ‘the quintessential bohemian ... [whose] unconventional and intense representational portraits, many painted in her early years, were neglected, even resented, in official art world circles’ and notes that ‘in the last decades of her life, the honors that had been denied her came her way.’ Stephan Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes (October 16): ‘Steadfast in the pursuit of her own vision and amused by her ability to shock both the art world and the arbiters of American taste, Miss Neel lived a singular life devoted to painting and to the laughing, suffering world around her.’
February 7: A memorial service for Alice Neel is held at the Whitney Museum of American Art. David Soyer and the Guarneri String quartet perform. Thomas Armstrong, the director of the Whitney; Mayor Edward Koch; Jack Baur, the former director of the Whitney and Patricia Hills speak at the service. Allen Ginsberg gives the first public reading of his poem ‘White Shroud’.

Notes: Much of the biographical information in this chronology was compiled by the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the catalogue of the centennial exhibition in 2000.
Neel pictured with her Self-Portrait 1980
Neel with New York Mayor, Ed Koch, at Gracie Mansion 1982
Alice Neel on the Johnny Carson show, 1984
Neel, in wheel chair, with her two sons, Hartley (left) and Richard, at the Vermont Studio Center. Also pictured is Ginny, Hartley’s wife, and Richard’s first wife, Nancy (left) 1984
Neel in Spring Lake with her sons Richard, left, and Hartley, 1984