Online Collection

"The Gift Outright"

Object Number: 2011.034.0019
Category: Art
Type of Object: Artwork
Dimensions: 57 x 49 in. (144.8 x 124.5 cm)
Oil painting on canvas created by artist Bernadine Stetzel that depicts images of John F. Kennedy and other historic figures and scenes, surrounding the text of Robert Frost's poem "The Gift Outright".

Artist Stetzel described this piece as follows: "New England poet Robert Frost read a newly written preface to his poem "The Gift Outright" at the inauguration of J.F.K."

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.

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