Thursday, August 2, 2018

How Robert Indiana’s caretaker came to control his artistic legacy

By Graham Bowley and Murray Carpenter
n 1971, the O in a “LOVE” sculpture was lowered into place at the entrance to Central Park at Fifth Avenue and 60th Street. Credit2018 Morgan Art Foundation Ltd/Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY; Don Hogan Charles/The New York Times
VINALHAVEN, Me. — Jamie L. Thomas has spent most of his 54 years on this remote island off the Maine coast, where he cobbled together a livelihood from an assortment of jobs. Painting houses. Sterning a lobster boat. Helping run a small seafood business. And, in recent years, caring for Robert Indiana, the Pop Art great, who retreated to this island decades ago and lived alone in a sprawling home overlooking the harbor until his death in May at 89. When the details of Mr. Indiana’s will were disclosed a week later, it turned out that Mr. Thomas had also been entrusted with an unlikely new job: shaping how the artist, best known for his depiction of the word “LOVE” with the jaunty, tilted O, will be remembered by the rest of the world. [More]