DescriptionJohn F. Kennedy: A Rare Signed Original Painting by the 35th U.S. President. Oil with pencil on canvas board, measuring 21.5" x 15.5" in original frame with "Kennedy" nameplate. Signed "Kennedy" in lower right corner, with a date which appears to be "1955". It depicts the skyline of a town, possibly in the South of France, as viewed from the water.
Unlike other recent presidents, notably Eisenhower and George W. Bush, JFK was not endowed with great artistic talent. Perhaps for this reason he rarely painted or drew. According to information supplied by the consignor, this is one of just two known paintings by Kennedy, the other being in the Kennedy Library. Three watercolors of Sheepshead Bay, signed JFK 1960, did surface at auction in 2013. Despite anonymous provenance, they sold for $36,800.
The provenance for the painting offered here is impeccable. Consigned for auction by Victoria Gifford Kennedy, widow of Robert and Ethel Kennedy's son Michael, it is accompanied by a note from Ethel to her daughter-in-law, reading:
"I'm delighted that 25 years later you're still enjoying President Kennedy's painting which I gave to you and Michael for your wedding.
"I believe it is a scene from the South of France which he gave to Bobby and me for Christmas at Gramma's in Palm Beach.
"For years it hung in our room at Hickory Hill."
Also accompanying the painting is a delightful B&W photograph, a circa mid-1950s scene of JFK working at an easel, with Jackie looking over his shoulder.
Original artwork by American presidents is highly sought-after, and this engaging painting must rank high among the many important JFK artifacts Heritage has been privileged to present.
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