This sculpture is located on the grounds of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery. But on September 11, 2001 it was located in New York City only one block from the World Trade Center when terrorists flew one commercial airliner into each of the World Trade Center’s towers.
This sculpture survived the attacks of 9/11, and soon after that it was moved.
A plaque on the fence by the sculpture provides information about it. The text is set out below.
born New York City 1923-died New York City 1997
fabricated 1989-1990 by Lippincott Inc., edition I/I
painted stainless steel
Gift of Jeffrey H. Loria in loving memory of his sister, Harriet Loria Popowitz.
Roy Lichtenstein began creating his Modern Head series in the late 1960s with the idea that man can be made to look like a machine and the image manufactured by an industrial source. This concept pervaded the artist’s work throughout his career. In Modern Head he referenced the flat planes, precision, and abstract geometric forms associated with the 1930s art deco architecture and design.
Modern Head was installed in 1996 in Battery Park City, one block from the World Trade Center, by the Public Art Fund of New York City (top photo). The sculpture survived the destruction of 9/11 with only surface scratches and became a memo board for the FBI during its ensuing investigations (bottom photo). Note the white ash on the base and the windows blown out of the building in the background of the photograph taken by insurance agent Michael Fischman on September 21st. The sculpture was removed on November 9, 2001, for its protection.
Modern Head is located on the grounds of the National Portrait Gallery near the southwest corner of the building. The National Portrait Gallery is located at 801 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004. Click Here for Google Map showing the location of the Modern Head Sculpture by Roy Lichtenstein.
Closest Metro Station: The Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro Station on the Red Line is nearest to the Portrait Gallery.