Fort Worth art exhibit recalls JFK's final visit

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by TINA FOSTER

WFAA

Posted on October 8, 2013 at 10:07 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 8 at 11:00 PM

FORT WORTH — Fort Worth will soon get its first look at an exhibit that details artwork from President Kennedy's visit to the city 50 years ago next month.

Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy opens at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art on Saturday.

"It reflected this moment of non-partisanship of wanting to welcome the president," said Amon Carter assistant curator Shirley Reece-Hughes.

The historic exhibit is full of artwork and sculpture that was organized especially for President Kennedy and the first lady in celebration of their overnight visit to Fort Worth on November 21, 1963.

Most of the paintings and sculptures are from private collections that were gathered together in less than a week 50 years ago for the presidential visit.

"What was fascinating as well was the spontaneity with which they brought all these pieces together," Reece-Hughes said. "They had only five days for this exhibition to evolve from conception to completion."

The paintings reflect Jackie Kennedy's love of French art, and reflect the artistic culture of the 1960s.

"What they chose to do was to collect works that were both by French impressionists like Claude Monet, but also American modernists... and brought all of these works together," Reece-Hughes explained.

Besides the paintings, there are photographs of the presidential suite where the Kennedys spent what turned out to be their final night together.

"The Secret Service put limitations on how long they could stay in the suite, so really it wasn't until the next morning — after the Kennedys left for Dallas — that Owen Day brought in his photographer from Bell Helicopter to photograph the suite," Reece-Hughes said.

It was art and sculptures that organizers thought at the time would be a long-remembered welcome to the president.

"But all of it was eclipsed by the assassination, and largely forgotten until today," Reece-Hughes said.

The Amon Carter Museum at 3501 Camp Bowie Boulevard in Fort Worth is open Wednesday-Saturday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. It remains open until 7 p.m. on Thursdays. Admission is free.

E-mail tfoster@wfaa.com


WATCH: JFK's Final Days from the Amon Carter Museum:

JFKs Final Days from Amon Carter Museum on Vimeo.


 

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