Bust of JFK.

Colossal Mud Monster Head of JFK

Field review by the editors.

Washington, DC

In the Grand Foyer of the Kennedy Center, atop a pedestal, sits a huge mud monster bust of JFK, eight feet high. It was made by famous sculptor Robert Berks, who used the same style of artfully shredded beef on his Albert Einstein statue outside the National Academy of Sciences, and a giant Mr. Rogers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Fans of Berks' work describe it as "his distinctly loose style."

According to Berks, he first painted JFK heads of various-sized pieces of plywood and stood them in an abandoned potato field, to figure out how big the head should be. Then he crafted JFK's head with the play of light in mind, so that the President seems youthful and vigorous from one angle, older and exhausted from another.

It's difficult to imagine that the image-conscious JFK would want to be remembered as a gloppy head, but he wasn't around to complain by the time it was unveiled on September 8, 1971.

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Colossal Mud Monster Head of JFK

John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts

Address:
2700 F St. NW, Washington, DC
Directions:
In the Grand Foyer of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. From downtown drive west on Independence Ave., which becomes Rock Creek Pkwy. Get in the left lane and pass under three bridges. After the third bridge, exit right to the garage's "B" or "C" level South entrances. Go to the Tour Desk on the A Level and ask for directions to the head -- but don't refer to it as a Mud Monster.
Phone:
202-416-8340
Admission:
Free
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