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"In Memorium 1917-1963" William Kent, (Amer.,1919-2012)
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 a few with the dramatic red, white & blue coloring. The embossing and color are both excellent and impart a striking presence and dimensionality to the print. 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 bold and reverent. The de-materialized figures of the servicemen watching over the slain president's bier are a reminder of the ephemeral nature of life and memory; the red, white and blue emphasizing the tragic event's national significance and reflecting the unity and patriotism born of the nation's common grief. For those who can remember, these images still carry an emotional impact over half a century later.