John H. Thom

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John H. Thom

Age 72, of Owen County, passed away at Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital, surrounded by close relatives and loving friends. He was born in Indianapolis to Jay W. Thom, M.D., and Julia Swain Thom, M.D., on March 28, 1941.

He was educated at Orchard School and at John Herron Art Institute, studying under the late Paul Sweany.

In a career that began in New York City, then moved him to California and back to Indiana, John mastered most media, including carving, trompe l'ceil, Baroque restoration, furniture making, and murals.

His murals in the Bloomington area include the Scholars Inn Bakehouse and the Wylie House. In Louisville he painted his major outdoor mural, on the Starks Building downtown. In the last twenty years he decorated several mansions in Bloomington and Indianapolis, specializing in triptychs, domed ceilings and foyers. Recently he did marbling and gilding in the restoration of the Monroe County Courthouse.

John's abstract oils, such as those shown last year in Bloomington Gallery Walk, often reflect his sense of humor, some being characterized as "visual puns". He created limited editions of humorous folk artifacts for Nieman Marcus under his trademark of "The Worldly Cow".

He sketched, painted and built almost all his waking hours, often in the midst of partying visitors. The art he best mastered was the art of friendship, and he was an accomplished chef. Among the visitors gravitating to his country home, some of the most welcome were those who had nowhere else to go.

John is survived by his sister, Julia Clemons of Spencer; his brother and next door neighbor James A Thom and wife Dark Rain; his brother Robert C. Thom and wife Andrea of Valdosta, Georgia; his son Jeffrey Ellis Thom; nephews, Alen, Thom and Craig Clemons; nieces Pam Guttierez and Cinda Farkas; and his apprentice Isiah Killion.

A memorial gathering will be announced at a later date.

Allen Funeral Home , 4155 South Old Highway 37 is handling the arrangements and online condolences may be sent to the family at

Funeral Home
Allen Funeral Home
4155 S Old State Road 37
Bloomington, IN 47401-7483
(812) 824-5905
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Published in the The Indianapolis Star on Aug. 1, 2013
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