September 16, 2019
Midcoast Latest News | Fall Hikes | Bangor Metro | Hepatitis A | Today's Paper

Robert Indiana’s Vinalhaven home was falling apart while he had $13 million in the bank

Lauren Casselberry | AP
Lauren Casselberry | AP
In this Sept. 24, 2013, file photo, artist Robert Indiana, known for his LOVE artwork, poses in front of that painting at New York's Whitney Museum of American Art. Court documents indicate pop artist Robert Indiana had $13 million in the bank even as his house sank into disrepair before his death. Documents filed Wednesday, August 14, 2019 by Indiana’s estate alleged his aide, Jamie Thomas, was not a selfless caregiver.

ROCKLAND, Maine — Pop artist Robert Indiana had $13 million in the bank even as his house sank into disrepair before his death, with pigeons living in the roof, water damaging books, rotting wood and the stench of cat urine, according to court documents filed Wednesday.

Documents filed by Indiana’s estate allege that aide Jamie Thomas was not a selfless caregiver, contending he “improperly lined his pockets,” claimed as gifts more than 100 of Indiana’s works, and allowed Indiana to live in “squalor and filth.”

Indiana, whose “LOVE” series is instantly recognizable worldwide, died at his home on Vinalhaven Island on May 19, 2018. He was 89.

The documents, filed in Superior Court, accuse Thomas of violating his duties to Indiana. “By the time of Indiana’s death, the home where Indiana lived to the end of his days with millions of dollars of artwork was littered with animal feces and urine,” a document said.

In the end, it took more than 1,000 hours of cleanup and the disposal of 8.6 tons of ruined, waterlogged paper to get the home in order, the document said.

The documents were in response to Thomas’ lawsuit seeking $2 million for legal fees. Thomas and the estate are being sued by a company that held the copyright for Indiana’s “LOVE.” There was no immediate comment from Thomas’ attorney.

 



Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

You may also like