Color Slate Print, 1964, Ed. of 23 or more, 16-15/16 x 17, on warm white wove japan paper 20 x 20-1/4, signed and dated by the artist in pencil, annotated "Artists Proof" in blue pen, some printing creases to shoulder and hat of sailor at right edge within image, very light foxing to sheet, and a few small pieces of tape to margin edges as typical. As Kent varied the colors from impression to impression, this is one of just a few with the dramatic red, white & blue coloring. John F. Kennedy's assassination in November of 1963 affected William Kent deeply, and he was quick to respond with several prints memorializing the fallen president. Carved and printed shortly after, in 1964, Kent offers a sombre and poignant image of Kennedy's flag draped casket lying in state in the rotunda of the nation's capital, surrounded by members of the armed forces. The graphic sophistication of Kent's conception is reverent, bold and stirring. The dematerialized figures of the servicemen watching over the slain president's bier are a reminder of the ephemeral nature of life and memory. The stark red, white and blue emphasize the tragedy's national significance, and the sense of unity and patriotism it forged. For those who remember, these images still affect us half a century after the event.
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