In wake of famed artist Robert Indiana’s death, a tangle of allegations


Famed artist Robert Indiana passed away on May 18, 2018 leaving an estate valued at more than $70 million dollars and amid a tangle of allegations involving fraud, forgery, theft and elder abuse. Questions raised about his care prior to his death lead to a lawsuit filed in federal court the day before his death. The lawsuit alleges that those named in the suit forged some of Indiana’s art , exhibited fraudulent works in museums and sold fraudulent works to collectors. This lawsuit worries some of Indiana’s friends and supporters who are concerned how it may affect his artistic legacy. For the complete story, follow our link to the Boston Globe.

In wake of famed artist Robert Indiana’s death, a tangle of allegations

By Mark Shanahan | Boston Globe

The Victorian building looms over Main Street on this island 12 miles off the jagged Maine coast, its facade pocked and peeling in the salt air. Known as the Star of Hope, the former Odd Fellows hall is beyond decrepit, with boarded-up windows, crumbling walls and ceilings, and a general aura of woebegone weirdness.

This is where Robert Indiana, one of America’s most celebrated artists, lived and worked in semiseclusion for four decades. It’s also where the Pop Art sensation, best known for his colorful 1960s prints and sculptures of the word “LOVE,” died last May at the age of 89, surrounded by several tons of old newspapers, dozens of stuffed animals, a lifetime of bric-a-brac, and thousands of paintings, sculptures, prints, poems, and journals — none of them insured — valued at more than $70 million.

“I knew he had a lot of stuff in there, but I didn’t know how much,” says James Brannan, a lawyer in Rockland, Maine, and executor of Indiana’s estate. “It’s overwhelming.”

But the enigmatic artist has left behind much more: Indiana’s estate is snared in a tangle of allegations involving fraud, forgery, theft, and elder abuse. Questions are being raised about Indiana’s art and legacy, which, to the surprise of many, have been entrusted to a onetime fisherman who was Indiana’s caretaker from 2016 until his death. Jamie Thomas, a Vinalhaven resident with no formal art training, was named in the artist’s will to lead a foundation responsible for overseeing Indiana’s collection and the conversion of his ramshackle home into a museum. Read More

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