Dillinger belongs to a series of columns that Indiana began in 1964, and modified with the addition of gold paint in 1998. The other works are My Mother, My Father, Bob’s Column, Call Me Ishmael, and Call Me Indiana. In a 1963 interview with the art collector Richard Brown Baker, Indiana recalled attending the funeral of John Dillinger, “Indiana’s most notorious citizen,” as a young child. That, along with the news coverage of his death, left a vivid, lasting impression, and he told Baker “there’ll be a Dillinger painting one day.”  Although the painting never materialized, he completed this sculpture.
 Richard Brown Baker, Oral history interview with Robert Indiana, September 12 and November 7, 1963. Washington, D.C.: Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1963.