The last art seen by JFK before his assassination

A fantastic exhibition, currently on show at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, brings home the arbitrary nature of life and death. Ahead of President Kennedy’s visit to Texas, his security staff expected a hostile reception in this Republican state. Video footage shows otherwise: rapturous crowds coo at President Kennedy and Jackie Onassis as they arrive, both looking as timeless and chic as ever. JFK seems relaxed and happy at this warm welcome. He walks fearlessly into the throng and shakes as many outstretched hands as possible. The show reunites works that had been hastily borrowed from various people for display in Suite 850 of the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth as a surprise for the Presidential couple, who stayed there the night before the shooting and who were known to be art supporters. The exhibition is an eye-opener—who would have thought there would have been a Van Gogh or a Picasso in that Texan room 50 years ago? The show originally opened at the Dallas Museum Art (26 May-15 September) and is now on view at the Amon Carter Museum (12 October-12 January 2014).