Mary Max, Wife of Artist Peter Max, Found Dead in Apparent Suicide at 52

Helen Murphy

Mary Max, the wife of famous pop artist, Peter Max, was found dead on Sunday night, the New York Police Department confirms to PEOPLE. She was 52.

The NYPD said they found Mary in her New York City home on Sunday night. Authorities directed questions about Mary’s cause of death to the New York Office of Chief Medical Examiner, who did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

According to the New York Post, Mary died of nitrogen asphyxiation in what was an apparent suicide.

Last month, the New York Times reported that Peter suffers from “advanced dementia.”

In 2015, the Times said, Mary asked a judge to appoint a guardian to oversee her husband’s company as his health declined. What followed was a legal battle that saw Peter’s son from his first marriage, Adam, and Mary, accusing each other of mistreating the famed artist in various ways.

A judge ultimately ordered Peter to be placed in Mary’s care and appointed a guardian to oversee his business and personal affairs, but lawsuits continued.

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Peter and Mary Max | Mediapunch/Shutterstock
Peter and Mary Max | John Lamparski/WireImage

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Peter, now 81, rose to fame in the 1960s with his counterculture, psychedelic pop art pieces. The couple married in the 1990s.

The artist is known for using bright colors in his works and incorporating elements of pop culture, often depicting celebrities, politicians or athletes in his paintings.

He was also the official artist for many notable companies and events, including the 1994 World Cup, the 2000 World Series and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “home” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.