Parties agree in legal battle over Robert Indiana’s legacy

After three years of court battles, the estate of artist Robert Indiana and the artist’s former business partner said Friday that they have agreed to settle legal disputes that are worth millions of dollars and are known for such works. The market for the individual is clouded. Sculpture, “Love.”

In a filing in United States District Court in Manhattan, Morgan Art Foundation, business partner, personal representative of the estate of Indiana, James W. Brannon and former Indiana caretaker Jamie L. Thomas said he was dropping the claims and counterclaims he had started. around the time of death of indiana At the age of 89 in Maine in May 2018.

The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Legally-backed properties that would have otherwise gone to a project named by the artist in his will, an attempt to convert his old home on the remote island of Winalhaven, more than an hour’s ferry ride from the Maine coast, to his In a museum to memorialize the artistic heritage.

Larry Steers, President Star of Hope Foundation, a nonprofit that Indiana created in his will for proselytizing, said he was happy to be part of the conversation that facilitated the final solution.

“The Star of Hope looks forward to our partnership with Morgan in the market and working swiftly on our mission,” he said in a statement.

protracted legal battle started Around the time of Indiana’s death, with a legal filing by the Morgan Art Foundation. The for-profit company owns the rights to produce versions of many of Indiana’s most famous works, including “Love”. In court papers, the company accused Thomas and a New York art publisher of isolating the artist in the last years of his life while creating unauthorized or adulterated editions. of his work.

In these works, it was said, BRAT, a huge statue And a tribute to bratwurst that was commissioned by a Wisconsin sausage maker. To question Indiana’s role in the late artwork, Morgan came forward with a video, which was posted on social media in 2013 by one of the publisher’s studio assistants at the time, and featured a signing of Indiana Print. The automatic signing machine was depicted.

Thomas and the publisher denied the allegations, and the publisher said the machine had Indiana’s blessing.

In counter claims, the estate accused Morgan Company of defrauding Indiana of royalties payable under the licensing agreement in court papers, which it denied.

Uncertainty caused by litigation affected the Indiana market. Morgan said the agreement would eliminate that uncertainty by creating a partnership between the Morgan Company and the Star of Hope Foundation.

“This settlement is an excellent outcome for all involved,” Morgan’s attorney, Luke Exit, said in a statement.

Thomas’ lawyers were among those signing the filing in the district court. But the agreement does not include a New York art publisher, Michael McKenzie, who said in an interview that he was surprised that the artist’s estate, which had fought Morgan so bitterly, should now be willing to settle for a settlement. Which will allow the company to partner with the foundation.

Mackenzie, who has contracted with Indiana since 2008 to work on and sell the grounds of his sculpture “HOPE,” is locked in separate legal disputes with both the Indiana estate and the Morgan Company.

He is open to a settlement with both sides, but said he could also challenge the agreement announced on Friday. “I can take it apart,” McKenzie said.

“The future is bright for the market and heritage of Robert Indiana, and the property is pleased to help make this a success,” Brannon, Indiana’s estate’s personal representative, said in a statement.

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