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Kennedy Caisson

ca. 1964-1990 Marshall B. Fleming Born: Cameron Orchard, West Virginia 1916 Died: New Creek, West Virginia 1998 carved and painted wood, leather, wire, metal, printed paper, paperboard, cloth, pen, and pencil overall: 20 1/8 x 54 1/2 x 15 in. (51.2 x 138.4 x 38.1 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and Marshall B. Fleming and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson 1986.65.305A-D Not currently on view


Luce Center Quote

“I have always admired President Kennedy. Upon seeing the funeral procession I thought I would like to make the caisson.” Letter from the artist, 1989

Luce Center Label

Marshall B. Fleming saw John F. Kennedy’s funeral on television  and wanted to commemorate the event. He also wanted to make a tribute to the other presidents who were assassinated---Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, and William McKinley. He based his design on a postcard of the funeral cortege and created the procession from painted wood, fabric, leather, and thread. Although the piece has somber associations, it was meant to celebrate Kennedy’s life and the lives of those who had died in office before him.

Keywords

Ceremony - funeral

Ceremony - procession

Equestrian

History - United States

Homage - Kennedy, John F.

sculpture

folk art

animal parts - leather

metal

mixed media

wood

About Marshall B. Fleming

Born: Cameron Orchard, West Virginia 1916 Died: New Creek, West Virginia 1998