Finding: Source Material in the Archives of American Art

Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein appropriated comic strips and cartoon images to create his iconic Pop art paintings, decontextualizing frames from the narrative and exaggerating facial expressions to satirize the sentimentality of plots. In 1963 he mailed curator Ellen H. Johnson the panels used for two of his paintings, I know how you must feel, Brad . . . and Girl at the Piano. Johnson wrote about these two sources in a 1966 essay in Canadian Art about how the artist cultivated his characteristic style. “A man of Lichtenstein’s sensitivity and sophisticated humor could not be other than amused by the pretentious seriousness of comic romances,” she explained.