SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The man who was the creative mind behind one of Springfield’s most iconic landmarks has died.

John Henry, creator of “Sun Target II,” which some residents may know better as the “French Fries” outside of the Springfield Art Museum, passed away at his Florida home earlier this month.

The abstract steel sculpture was installed in its current home in 1980 after being shown in Chicago, New York City and Atlanta.

  • John Henry installing Sun Target II in 1980

Six years ago, Museum Educator Kate Baird say that “it provides a unique way to talk to students about shapes, point of view, spatial reasoning, relationships, and perspective. It doesn’t just have aesthetic value; it is a valuable teaching tool.”

In the past 42 years, the sculpture has become part of the Springfield landscape; a highly visible yellow accent for drivers on National Avenue.

The man behind the sculpture died at age 79 in his home in Brooksville, Florida.