»Remembering Dallas, Texas – John F. Kennedy's last journey «
November 1, 2013 – June 10, 2014
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's death on November 22, 1963, the Museum THE KENNEDYS opens a special exhibition on November 1, 2013: »Remembering Dallas, Texas – John F. Kennedy's last Journey.« More than a hundred valuable photographs, rare historic documents, and personal memorabilia trace the last living hours of the president, and give intriguing insights into the results of the Warren Report of 1964 as well as the media coverage of the worldwide commemoration of Kennedy.
In the evening of November 22, 1963, candles illuminated countless windows in Berlin. A few hours earlier, President John F. Kennedy had been assasinated in Dallas, Texas. Berliners, who merely five months ago had enthusiastically cheered for Kennedy in their own city, could not believe that their beacon of hope was dead. To express their grief, they put candles on their windowsills–even in East-Berlin, where the Stasi took note of exactly who participated in such suspicious behavior. When students of the Free University heard of the news of Kennedy's death, they spontaneously left their lecture halls, and initiated a torchlight procession through the surrounding streets that was joined by many people.
John F. Kennedy had travelled to Texas to make first preparations for the presidential elections in 1964. In 1960, he had beaten his rival, Richard Nixon, by the narrow margin of only 112,827 votes. Therefore, he began campaigning early in those states where polls showed a tie between Republicans and Democrats. After several events in Florida, he flew to Texas on November 21, 1963.
Texas was known as one of the most conservative states. Many ultra-reactionary activists lived there, including H.L. Hunt and Edwin Walker. In addition, many right-wing extremist groups were located in Texas, the most well-known of which was the »John Birch Society.« In October 1963, UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson had been spit in the face during a visit to Dallas. Precisely this state was President John F. Kennedy's destination.
Following an address in slightly rainy Fort Worth in the morning, John F. Kennedy flew to Dallas. In Dallas, the rain had already stopped. Therefore, he, Jackie, who accompanied him, Texas Governor Connally, and his wife, Nellie, rode in the car in the direction of downtown Dallas with the roof down–instead of with the roof closed, as had been the original plan. The many people lining the streets greeted the group surprisingly enthusiastically. When the motorcade turned onto Dealey Plaza, the fatal shots were fired. They hit Kennedy in the neck and back of his head. In the midst of many fruitless attempts at resuscitation at the hospital, pastor Oscar Huber administered Kennedy's last rites shortly before the President was declared dead–only thirty minutes after the assassination.
The news of John F. Kennedy's death spread like wildfire. Soon the whole nation was taken with deep grief. Due to the widespread media coverage of the Kennedy family's public and private life, many Americans felt a close connection to their president. Even in the Soviet Union and its satellite states, people grieved for the American president. The Soviet media portrayed Kennedy as a symbol for the better half of the USA, the part that supported liberty and peace. They interpreted Kennedy's assassination as a right-wing conspiracy that aimed to increase anti-communist trends within society.
To this day, contemporary witnesses know where they were when they learned of the assassination of Kennedy. His death rang in a new era in American politics, as the innocence of the early 1960s was forever gone.
Special Exhibit – »Ich bin ein Berliner – Kennedy's visit to Germany in June 1963«
June 20 – October 27, 2013
In addition to the already displayed portion of the permanent exhibit, the »Berlin Visit« room, the Museum THE KENNEDYS presents a special exhibit in honor of the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s visit to Berlin in June, 1963. From the intentions and political goals of his trip through Cologne, Bonn, Hanau, Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, and West-Berlin, with the famous »Ich bin ein Berliner« speech, to the historical significance of John F. Kennedy’s visit, the exhibit traces the events that have remained to the present day in our collective conscience and have deeply influenced the relationship between Germany and the United States.
Film Screening of Kennedy’s Famous Speech at Rathaus Schöneberg
With the help of rare film material, the magnitude and uniqueness of John F. Kennedy's visit to Berlin, as well as the famous speech he gave at Rathaus Schöneberg, will be brought to life. This historic event will be made tangible for younger generations, and relivable for those who personally experienced it.
Daily Tours - Kennedy’s Visit to Berlin (June 25, 2013 – June 30, 2013) daily (except Monday) 5 p.m.
The historical significance of Kennedy’s Berlin visit, the nature of his trip, and the history of the famous sentence »Ich bin ein Berliner« will be discussed and explained in 45-minute-long tours through the special exhibit with the help of historic photographs, multimedia content, and artifacts.
March 26 – June 9, 2013
»Life isn't a matter of milestones, but of moments.«
Holidays–a time to relax and to spend valuable time with loved ones. With the approaching Easter season, the Museum THE KENNEDYS will present the special exhibition »Family Life,« a rare view into the private life of the Kennedy family during the 1950s and 1960s.
With its unique selection of over sixty photographs, rare photo-series from magazines, and private film recordings, the special exhibition »Family Life« offers not only an exceptional look into the eventful family life of the Kennedys, but also showcases the works of several masters of photography, such as Henry Cartier-Bresson, Bob Davidoff, Mark Shaw, Orlando Suero, and Jacques Lowe. The rare photographs show the Kennedy family in private and informal settings, and outside the realm of the arranged photo-shoot.
Scenes of the »First Family« at church on Easter Sunday, and of the family unwrapping birthday gifts will be exhibited, as well as everyday moments, such as the children feeding ducks and riding horses for the first time while the older members of the family enjoy art and music.
The sporting activities of the American »Royal Family« also receive special emphasis in the exhibition. Their athletic repertoire was certainly not limited to golf, baseball, or tennis–the family was particularly famous for their competitive football matches. All four sons of Joseph Kennedy were members of the Harvard College football team and the men of the family played each other outisde of the competitive field whenever the opportunity arose. The women of the family, the sisters and wives, were also not shy about participating in the games; these moments are captured in rare photographs from the collection of the Museum THE KENNEDYS.
The Kennedys took advantage of the beach at their compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, as a rejuvenating get-away location. The deck of their yacht »Victura« also served as a way for the entire family to relax and recharge. Of course, cameras were always on hand, allowing the present-day viewer the opportunity to witness these informal and cheerful moments over fifty years later.
»The Spirit of a Dress«
January 16 – March 15, 2013
The Museum THE KENNEDYS is pleased to present a special exhibition »The Spirit of a Dress« on the occasion of Berlin Fashion Week from January 16, 2013. The exhibition, which is curated in collaboration with the Finnish fashion label and design house Marimekko, delivers an insight into Jackie Kennedy’s love for defined shapes and extraordinary prints of Marimekko by presenting rare photographs, and dresses worn by Jackie Kennedy.
Focusing on Jackie Kennedy and her style, the exhibition takes the visitor back to the eventful year 1960–a year in which Chubby Checker’s »The Twist« captured the world and influenced fashion development, playful floral elements and contrasting geometric patterns covered dresses, and John F. Kennedy was elected as 35th President of the United States.
In several respects, Jackie Kennedy advanced to the secret star of John F. Kennedy's election campaign. Her unique taste transformed her into an icon of pure elegance and youthful charm. For the presidential campaign in 1960 Jackie Kennedy chose to wear appropriate and modest clothes that were of high quality but would not distance her from contemporary American women.
In addition to famous French fashion labels, Jackie trusted Marimekko, a textile and clothing design house renowned for its bold colors, unconvential patterns, and clean, architectural silhouettes. The exhibition reflects the elegant appearance of Jackie Kennedy in the U.S. Presidental Election in 1960 and shows how Marimekko not only emphasized her appearance and personality, but also reflected the spirit of the time. Jackie Kennedy managed to influence people all over the world with her sense of style like no one before in the political sphere.
As well as an original edition of »Sports Illustrated«, on the cover of which Jackie is wearing a Marimekko dress that made the Finnish fashion and design house practically overnight famous, there are also numerous contemporary photographs, as well as a valuable original Marimekko dress worn by Jackie Kennedy in 1960. In addition, the fascinating exhibition shows further Marimekko dresses and patterns of that time, illustrating the iconicity of timeless fashion creations by Marimekko. They furthermore underline how the First Lady shaped fashion to this day.
Some sixty years ago, the Finnish fashion and design house Marimekko revolutionized the textile industry with its bold colors, unconventional patterns and clever, architectural cuts. Today, its inventive yet timeless dialogue between color, pattern, and shape translates into distinctive fashion that celebrates the art of print making all over the world.