Online Collection

"The Eternal Flame"

Object Number: 2011.034.0070
Category: Art
Type of Object: Artwork
Dimensions: 29 × 20 in. (73.7 × 50.8 cm)
Oil painting on canvas created by artist Bernadine Stetzel portraying the eternal flame at the grave of President Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery.

Artist Stetzel described this piece as follows: "The eternal flame lit at the grave of President Kennedy, along with a quote from his memorable inauguration speech."

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

Included in the Museum's temporary exhibit, "Mourning a President," about the funeral and mourning rites for President John F. Kennedy, this item will be on display on the Museum's seventh floor from November 17, 2017 to February 19, 2018. -- Lindsey Richardson, Curator of Collections

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