Mary Max Biography
Mary Max was the wife of world-renowned psychedelic artist Peter Max. She committed suicide using nitrogen asphyxiation in her apartment on Riverside Drive near West 84th Street on Sunday evening (June 9, 2019).
Mary Max, Wife of Artist Peter Max, Found Dead in Apparent Suicide at 52 https://t.co/4CuTdSD4cR
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Mary Max Age
Mary was 52 years old.
Mary Max Peter Max/ Mary Max Husband
— outsidetheknow (@outsidetheknow) June 12, 2019
Mary and Peter met in 1996 on a Manhattan sidewalk. Mary caught Peter’s eye with her pixie cut. Peter approached her and introduced himself saying ‘I’ve been painting your profile my entire life.’ The couple married a year later, 1997.
Peter rose to fame in the 1960s, when he became known for his psychedelic art and pop art. He was commissioned by the US Postal Service to create a stamp and amassed his fortune through becoming the official artist for dozens of major events including the World Series, the 1994 World Cup, the Super Bowl, the Grammy Awards, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Peter was also the official artist for the US Winter Olympics team and his work is very popular on cruise ship auctions. In 2015, he painted a cruise ship, part of Norwegian’s fleet.
Peter developed a severe form of dementia which became a center of the feud between his late wife and son.
In 2015 Mary asked a court to appoint a guardian to oversee Peter’s business after Adam and three business associates took over the studio increasing production and profit through a series of art auctions on cruise ships.
According to the New York Times, at the time Peter was too ill to paint and was just signing his name to other artists work.
Mary’s request for a guardian was granted, Adam removed his father from his home and moved him around New York for more than a month. Mary accused Adam of concealing the whereabouts of Peter and effectively ‘kidnapping’ him.
Mary Max Children
Mary had no biological children but she was a stepmother to Peter’s children Adam Cosmo and Libra Astro from his first marriage to Elizabeth Nance.
Mary Max Feud with Her Step Son, Adam Max
— ?The_News_DIVA? (@The_News_DIVA) June 12, 2019
In 2015 Adam lost a lawsuit in which he wanted his father to be removed from his Riverside Drive apartment, where, Adam claimed, Mary was trying to “murder” him. Adam had removed his father from his home and moved him around New York for more than a month. Mary accused Adam of concealing the whereabouts of Peter and effectively ‘kidnapping’ him.
Adam on his part said he was protecting his father from Mary’s verbal and physical abuse, describing her as neglectful, a view that was later supported by the guardian Mary appointed herself.
Members of the household staff also accused Mary of neglecting her husband, saying she withheld food and even put ‘large Brazil nuts’ in his smoothies, which acted as a choking hazard.
According to a recorded interview transcript seen in court, Mary discussed with her driver about hiring a goon to intimidate her husband and to damage his painting hand. However, one court-appointed lawyer claimed that Peter stated his love for his wife several times and that removing him from his home could be detrimental to his well-being.
A judge ordered Peter to be returned to his wife’s care at their Riverside Drive home.
— Gena Hymowech ?️? (@genah) June 12, 2019
In another lawsuit, Mary claimed that Adam had stolen $4.3 million worth of artwork that her husband gave her in a prenuptial agreement.
The suit said the 85 paintings were given to Mary “many years ago by her beloved husband Peter Max, the world-famous artist.”
Mary claimed that Adam lifted the pieces, including “Liberty Head,” “Cosmic Runner” and “Lady in Red with Floating Vase,” from a New Jersey warehouse where they were stored.
According to the court papers, Mary also claimed that Adam had also taken control of her father’s company, ALP Inc., and cut off his resources, forcing Peter to have to ask his son for “pocket money.”
The suit claimed that the art grab “is part of a malicious campaign by [Adam] to punish Mary for seeking legal protection for Peter against [his son’s] undue influence and manipulations.”
Mary Max Cause of Death / Mary Max Suicide
“Mary Max, Wife of Pop Artist Peter Max, Dies by Apparent Suicide” by SHARON OTTERMAN via NYT For the past several years, Ms. Max, 52, had been embroiled in a vitriolic dispute over her husband’s art, wealth and legacy.https://t.co/bGjtmGH0Wo pic.twitter.com/foE6P2WrpD
— Daily News (@_TheDailyNews) June 12, 2019
According to the police, Mary committed suicide on June 9, 2019, in her Upper West Side apartment. She died of nitrogen asphyxiation.