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The National Gallery of Art Acquires Works on Paper by Andy Warhol and Robert Heinecken

The The National Gallery of Art has acquired works on Paper by Andy Warhol and Robert Heinecken.

The Collectors Committee discretionary fund for photographs, drawings, and prints supported the acquisition of this portfolio of screenprints by Andy Warhol (1928–1987) as well four photographs by Robert Heinecken (1931–2006). In these works, both Warhol and Heinecken address ideas about the pervasiveness of the American news media.

The Gallery acquired Andy Warhol’s celebrated portfolio, Flash—November 22, 1963 (1968). Four and a half years after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Warhol revisited the shocking events in a portfolio that includes 11 screenprints and 11 double-sided texts, the latter based on newsflashes from Dallas. The portfolio’s cover features the front page of the New York World-Telegram newspaper published on the day of Kennedy’s assassination, with its headline printed in unprecedented four-inch type: “PRESIDENT SHOT DEAD,” which Warhol blanketed with a template of cheery flowers—a juxtaposition that is not only anomalous but seems irreverent. Warhol claimed to have had almost no reaction to the news of President Kennedy’s death, but his obsession with it—as evidenced by this portfolio and other works—suggests otherwise.

Robert Heinecken’s Newswomen, Suite B (1984), was acquired with the Collectors Committee discretionary fund for photography. A unique piece consisting of four 20 by 24-inch Polaroid (dye diffusion transfer prints) portraits of news anchors, it is part of an extended examination Heinecken made between 1980 and 1986 of the impact of television on contemporary American life. For this work, he photographed three anchorwomen, all with similar hairstyles, skin tones, and expressions, and combined all three images into the fourth and final composite portrait, hinting that the media is instilling into the collective consciousness an image of how a successful woman should look and act.

The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are at all times free to the public. They are located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, and are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Gallery is closed on December 25 and January 1. For information call (202) 737-4215 or the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) at (202) 842-6176, or visit the Gallery’s Web site at

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