November 13, 2019
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Robert Indiana’s Vinalhaven estate to become museum

Joel Page | AP
Joel Page | AP
In this Aug. 29, 2009, file photo, artist Robert Indiana poses at his studio in Vinalhaven. Indiana, best known for his 1960s LOVE series, died from respiratory failure Saturday, May 19, 2018, at his home in Maine, Indiana's attorney said. He was 89.

Acclaimed artist Robert Indiana said in his will that his Vinalhaven home should be used as an art museum showcasing his work after his death, according to a report.

According to the Courier-Gazette, Indiana’s will was filed Friday morning in Knox County Probate Court by his attorney, James Brannan of Rockland. It specified that his house and studio on Main Street in Vinalhaven, known as Star of Hope Lodge, will be turned into a museum and a non-profit organization will be set up to support it.

Nearly his entire estate has been left to fund the nonprofit, which has already been created under the name Star of Hope., Inc., the newspaper reported. Indiana’s caretaker, Jamie Thomas, will serve as its executive director. It is not known when the building is projected to open as a museum.

Indiana, famed for his sculptures such as LOVE and EAT, was associated with the pop art movement in the 1960s. He died at the age of 89 on May 19 at his home in Vinalhaven, where he had lived since 1978.

One day before Indiana’s death, a lawsuit was filed in New York accusing Thomas and New York art publisher Michael McKenzie of isolating the artist and producing fraudulent artworks under his name. The lawsuit, filed by the Morgan Art Foundation, alleges that Thomas and McKenzie effectively hid the artist away from “friends and supporters, forged some of Indiana’s most recognizable works, exhibited the fraudulent works in museums, and sold the fraudulent works to unsuspecting collectors.”

Indiana’s estate includes Star of Hope Lodge, two other properties on Vinalhaven, his art collection, future royalties and other assets, The Courier-Gazette reported. Though the total value of his estate is not public record, the filing fee indicates it is worth as much as $28 million.

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