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New York Public Library Opens John F. Kennedy exhibition

The New York Public Library presents a President John F. Kennedy exhibition on view Nov. 20 until Dec. 1.

On Nov. 22, 1963, the nation was stunned by the horrifying assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The expressions of grief that followed took every possible form, from heartfelt personal tributes to grand, grave public displays.

To mark the 50th anniversary of that day – one of the darkest days in United States history – The New York Public Library has brought together a small selection of items from its collections that depict the nation’s grief for the free display, “Dearest Jackie”: On The Death of JFK. The pop up exhibition will be at the Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.

The items being displayed include:

A poignant letter of condolence to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy from her husband’s close aide Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. The letter begins “Dearest Jackie,” and was written on the evening of the assassination.
One of 14 prints in artist Andy Warhol’s Flash – Nov. 22, 1963 series, which incorporated newspaper and television images connected with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Warhol’s image vividly conveys the excitement around Kennedy’s presidency and the ensuing horror of his assassination.

A gelatin silver print of Jacqueline Kennedy at her husband’s funeral in Arlington, Virginia, taken by Elliott Erwitt. The image is one of the most heart-wrenching depictions of the devastated First Lady.
Ark, a lithograph by Robert Rauschenberg, which prominently includes a picture of President Kennedy amongst other unrelated images. Dante’s journey through Hell and the dark halo of lithographic marks that surround the president help to convey the country’s mood in the aftermath of the assassination.

The objects in the exhibition come from several divisions of the Library, including Manuscripts and Archives, The Print and Photography Collections of the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs, and the Spencer Collection.

In addition to the display of items, the Library will also be collecting stories from the public about where they were when the tragic events occurred, and what they remember about Nov. 22, 1963. The public can submit these stories starting Nov. 20 at the Library’s Facebook page at