Roy Lichtenstein’s ‘Modern Head’ Graces Front of National Portrait Gallery

WASHINGTON, DC—Before you enter the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery there is a striking, blue sculpture worth taking a moment to view. ‘Modern Head’ by Roy Lichtenstein is part of a series the artist began in the late 1960s that explored making man look like a machine. Conceived in 1974 and fabricated in 1989-90, the stainless steel work has quite a backstory. It was installed in Battery Park City, one block from the World Trade Center in 1996. Incredibly, it survived 9/11 and was used by the FBI as a memo board during its investigation of the terrorist attack. “Modern Head” was removed from the site on Nov. 9, 2001 and was eventually acquired by the Smithsonian in 2008.

Photo by Arts Observer

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