Online Collection


Object Number: 2011.034.0016
Category: Art
Type of Object: Artwork
Dimensions: 24 x 30 in. (61 x 76.2 cm)
Oil painting on canvas created by artist Bernadine Stetzel that shows John F. Kennedy shaking hands with a group of supporters.

Artist Stetzel described this piece as follows: "A swirl of well-wishers grasp to shake the hand of the future president of the United States."

An enthusiastic supporter of John F. Kennedy, Stetzel was devastated by the assassination. Shortly after visiting the president’s gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery in 1968, she began work on a series of paintings that depicted the life of the late president. Between 1968 and 1985, with a long break in the middle, Bernadine Stetzel created 71 works that followed John F. Kennedy from his christening ceremony to the eternal flame at his gravesite.
Curator's Notes

Exhibit label:  In one of the more abstract paintings in her Kennedy series, Stetzel illustrates the late president’s most famous quote from his 1961 inauguration.  In 2011, Stetzel said that this image came to mind when she heard those words, and this piece represented Kennedy “reaching out to everybody.”

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