Tuesday, August 29, 2017

My New JFK Artwork

Perhaps you need to like abstract expressionism, but this new piece that I won at a recent auction of the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum is quite special.  Entitled “Missile,” this artwork was made by Cape Cod artist Michael Magyar using material from John and Jackie Kennedy’s Hyannis Port home.  The concrete, glass and steel window weights were discarded as the house was recently renovated. 

The catalog says of the unique work:  “Seems like yesterday the artist thought about the Cuba Missile Crisis and what is in the news today.  How little it seems things have changed.  And yet we can hope, as many people are working for peace, tolerance and understanding—keeping the very values JFK worked so hard to instill in his life alive today.” 

This piece is meaningful to me for several reasons.  First, I met and talked with Senator Kennedy when I was a young boy.  Second, the Cuban Missile Crisis, occurring when I was twelve years old, was a notable event in my childhood, and the memory of it is still strong in mind.  Third, I later served as a working group chair for the President’s Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba.  And, finally, I just finished the manuscript on the Nobel dinner that President and Mrs. Kennedy held in 1962 (“Dinner in Camelot,” ForeEdge, April 2018).  But I also love the artwork!

I was fortunate to visit with the artist at his East Sandwich, Massachusetts, studio.  It was especially enjoyable to learn how he came to create this piece.  By the way, the piece is very heavy and is seventeen inches high, six inches wide and fourteen inches long.

The auction, which included thirty-five diverse pieces, raised funds for the museum, which is quite a gem.


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