Robert Carston Arneson's "Elvis Aron Presley" was found in the vaults of the Hirshhorn Museum. (Robert Carston Arneson/hirshhorn)
Sculptor Robert Carston Arneson's gold-glazed ceramic bust of Elvis, a 1978 work that Perry found in the vaults of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, holds a couple of significant secrets. Because of the height of the pedestal on which the Caesaresque likeness sits, you can't tell that the rock balancing on the singer's shoulder reads "king." King of rock, get it?
But there's another little Easter egg to look for. It's one that the curator himself says he didn't know about until the work was brought out of storage. Take a peek just behind Elvis's left shoulder on the back side of the sculpture, and you'll find that Arneson left a little heart, as Perry says, "right where Elvis's heart would be."
But it's actually a heart-shaped hole. Suggesting, of course, the lingering sense of absence that the singer's death left in the hearts of his fans.