Peter Max’s family claim he is the victim of guardianship abuse


The great Peter Max graced the cover of Dan’s papers The 4th of July issues have been around for many years, and this year we’ve invited the beloved New York artist to ring in 2022 with special cover for our December 31, 2021 New Years issue. Her daughter Libra Max is chatting about Max’s work and this week’s cover art, but also some shocking news that has come to light since our last contact with Max.

December 31, 2021 Dan’s Papers cover (detail) by Peter Max

What is the name of this magnificent piece and what is the story behind its inspiration and creation?

The 2022 New Year’s pouch for Dan’s papers is an extraordinary screenprint from 1970 titled “My Father Taught Young Artists to Let Their Inspiration and Ideas Run Free, and Ignore Inner Criticism.”

Peter Max’s art is about positivity and possibility, looking at our world with hope for the future and looking to the universe beyond. My father always created his works with a clear intention of spreading peace, kindness, and unity – a message as relevant today as it was during the Summer of Love in the ’60s.

"Flag with heart" By Pierre Max
“Flag with Heart” by Peter Max

Since our last conversation, the #FreePeterMax movement has taken off. Can you give us an overview of the reason for the creation of the movement and how it intends to resolve the situation against which it is mobilizing?

I want to thank Dan’s papers from the bottom of my heart for giving me the opportunity to share what is happening to my father, Peter Max, with your readers. My father created pouches for Dan’s papers For almost 20 years. This year I will be sharing something more personal about abuse of guardianship. It is a problem that Dan’s readers should be made aware in order to protect their own family members.

My beloved dad, 84-year-old Peter Max, was caught in the iron fist of a predatory guardianship in New York City who snatched him from his family and loved ones, against his will, in the twilight of his beautiful life. Guardianship abuse has been in the media recently because of Britney Spears, and my father is now trapped in the same predatory, isolating and abusive system.

Isolation allows financial abuse. My father is kept in enforced segregation by two court-appointed guardians and their unscrupulous lawyers who ruthlessly control every aspect of his life while they drain his hard-earned assets for their own benefit. These individuals are all strangers to my father and our family.

Our family and the beautiful community of longtime friends of my father created the #FreePeterMax campaign in response to this horrendous injustice. Since 2019, we have been waging a private legal battle to free our beloved Peter from involuntary isolation at the hands of strangers; give it back its dignity; and allow him to be surrounded by his loved ones at the end of his life. After fighting quietly for 2.5 years in court, we had to go public and ask for help from the great people of this country.

At the end of my father’s life, he should be surrounded by love, family, friends, hugs and kisses, warmth, gentleness, celebration and all those dear to him. Instead, for over two years, court-appointed guardians isolated my father as a prisoner and cut him off from his family and the world. It is abuse of the elderly.

After more than two years of extreme isolation and begging to find his family and loved ones, my father is losing his will to live. His health has seriously deteriorated and he is medically neglected. He seems dangerously overmedicated and we fear for his life.

How can this happen in America?

My father was born in Nazi Germany; he escaped with only his parents, with most of his family killed by the Nazis. He grew up as a refugee in Shanghai. My father came to Brooklyn as an immigrant teenager with a hope for the American dream and a love for freedom. The beauty of his art was his response to war.

"Suzine" By Pierre Max
“Suzin” by Peter Max

How can Peter Max fans offer their support in 2022?

I share our family’s abuse of guardianship story with Dan’s readers, not only to fight for my father’s freedom, but also to educate and defend the millions of victims of predatory guardianship and their families who don’t have the platform I have. If it can happen to Peter Max and our family, with the scope of the Peter Max name and the resources we have to fight it, it can happen to anyone.

Many of the ’60s generation, the original Max art fans, are now seniors themselves. The shocking reality is that every senior is a potential victim of guardianship abuse. There are an estimated 1.3 million vulnerable adults in guardianship, and more than $ 50 billion of their assets are under the control of court-appointed guardians. The guardianship system exists under the guise of protection, but corruption and abuse are rife, and the guardianship system has evolved into a form of human trafficking, permitted by predatory lawyers and law firms.

My father’s life and creativity has always been a celebration of freedom, which resonated with the ’60s generation who grew up with their extraordinary art. Guaranteeing our freedom is as important as ever. Please help us #FreePeterMax. We humbly ask for your help and solutions – members of the media, lawmakers and beloved fans and friends of Peter Max. Please join us in speaking out against this grave injustice by widely sharing my father’s story. The exhibition is critical and we need your voice.

The Peter Max Studio and its website petermax.com fully support the #FreePeterMax campaign. Many have asked us about the sales that come directly from Peter Max Studio – the profits go to his studio management and Peter.

Please read more about the Peter Max Trusteeship case at FreePeterMax.com.

We thank you for your love and support. I am so grateful to Dan’s papers for this opportunity to share with you as we start a new year with hope. I wish you and your families the best year of your life so far.

To support the #FreePeterMax campaign, visit FreePeterMax.com. To learn more about Peter Max Art, visit petermax.com.

December 31, 2021 Dan's Papers cover by Peter Max
December 31, 2021 Dan’s Papers cover by Peter Max


Back To Top