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The Time I met Roy Lichtenstein

October 27, 1923 was Roy Lichtenstein’s birthday and it is now 100 years later commemorating his birth. I recall the time I met Roy Lichtenstein one afternoon in the mid 80’s while working at the MOMA in NYC. It was the first day of the Roy Lichtenstein exhibition and there was a definite buzz in the air. It was my first full time job after graduating as a painting major from Pratt and I was working at the front desk in Visitors Services. I saw a man standing in the center of the lobby quietly watching the scene, observing the people that were hustling and bustling in the crowded lobby. People with the high level memberships were hurriedly asking me to write them a pass, to avoid the lengthy lines which were going out the door and on to 53rd street. I remember this mild mannered man eventually came up to the front desk. I said, can I help you? He showed me his yellow membership card. It was paper and well worn. It didn’t look like the other membership cards…it said, “Artist Member: Roy Lichtenstein” I looked down at the card then up at him and said, “This is you?!” We both had a good laugh! Back then in the 80’s there was no internet and most people just knew artists by their artwork, and didn’t know what artists looked like. (except for maybe Andy Warhol). Roy asked me if I would be at the opening reception that evening and I said I wouldn’t miss it. That night my sister Heidi and I spent a memorable and super fun time with Roy, talking about art and asking him questions about his art such as: “So, who was that guy Brad?” All the while, we were walking around the galleries and dodging the press, for a good hour or so as it was just the three of us hanging out at his opening reception. Eventually, some people arrived that he knew, and naturally he went to mingle with them. People didn’t have i phones back then, so I don’t have a photo to share, but I still have the invitation that I asked him to sign for me. (pictured here: To Deborah, Roy Lichtenstein) The image he drew, printed on the invitation is a drawing from the Parable of the Sower.


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