Tragic twist after wife of renowned artist found dead in apartment

Mary Max, the wife of renowned pop artist Peter Max, has reportedly taken her own life amid a bitter legal dispute with her 81-year-old husband’s family, over his work.

A friend found the 52-year-old on Sunday at her New York apartment in the affluent Upper East Side, the New York Post reported.

The discovery came after Mrs Max reportedly left a lengthy voice mail message for a friend in London outlining her wishes following her death.

Mary Max, 52, was found dead in her New York apartment on Sunday. Source: Getty Images

Her lawyer, John Markham, told The New York Times she said goodbye to her family – including her husband, brother and mother – and close friends in messages.

The German-American psychedelic artist rose to fame during the pop-art era of the 1960s and 1970s. He wed Ms Max in the late 1990s.

For the past several years Ms Max had been embroiled in an ugly battle over her husband’s multimillion-dollar art collection, while Mr Max developed advanced stages of dementia.

Artist Peter Max with wife Ms Max at a New York City event in 2017. Source: Getty Images

Ms Max’s stepson accused her of being abusive to her husband and claimed she had even tried to kill him.

On the other hand, Ms Max alleged her stepson had “kidnapped” the artist.

Ms Max, whose maiden name was Balkin, was born on October 20, 1966 and grew up in upstate New York’s Buffalo.

If you are concerned about the mental health of yourself or a loved one, seek support and information by calling Lifeline on 13 11 14, Mensline on 1300 789 978, the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36.

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