Frequently Asked Questions 

Faces of the Fallen is about love and relationships, courage and sacrifice.  It is also about the vision of artists and the power of art to bring us together in sorrow, compassion and respect.”
- Annette Polan, Artist and Founder/Chair, Faces of the Fallen

Q. Does Faces of the Fallen have a political position on the war in Iraq?

A. This is an exhibition of art, not a political statement.  Our only position is one that all Americans share:  service men and women who have given their lives in the war deserve our respect and honor.


Q. Who are the artists and what are the portraits like?

A.  Over 200 artists contributed to Faces of the Fallen.  They include professionals and students; they have individual styles, and they work in different media, including drawing, painting and sculpture.  A distinguished curator reviewed all of the portraits to ensure that they conform to certain standards of quality, and that they treat their subjects with dignity and respect.


Q.  Does Faces of the Fallen include portraits of all the service men and women who have lost their lives between October 2001 and November 2004?

A.  No, unfortunately. We worked from photographs of the deceased from various sources—principally the websites of Military City and The Washington Post. No photographs were available for some of the fallen. In the absence of a photograph, service men and women who lost their lives from October 10, 2001 through November 11, 2004 are represented at the exhibit by a hand silk-screened silhouette (one for each) and identified by an attached plaque giving details of name, rank, date of death, home city and state. So that no sacrifice goes unremembered, the final panel in the exhibit represents all the many others who have died since November 11, 2004. Because of constraints imposed by space and time, we include only the portraits of military personnel.


Q.  What happens if a family is not pleased with the portrait of their loved one?

A.  We knew from the beginning that not every artist’s gift would please every family. Therefore, the Board passed a resolution that, if requested by the designated next-of-kin, we would remove a portrait from the exhibit and replace it with a hand screened silhouette, identified by name, rank, branch of the service, and home town, along with age and date of death. The decision was taken to respect the families’ wishes and to protect the collective integrity of the exhibit and the spirit which inspired it.


Q.  What will happen to the portraits after the exhibition ends?

A.  The artists created the portraits as their gift to the nation and ultimately to the families. Following the close of the exhibit, each serviceman or servicewoman’s designated next-of-kin will receive the portrait.