Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy

October 12, 2013January 12, 2014

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Amon Carter will exhibit the works of art installed in the president’s suite at the Hotel Texas during his fateful trip in 1963. The original installation, orchestrated by former Amon Carter Board President Ruth Carter Stevenson and a small group of Fort Worth art collectors, was created especially for the president and first lady in celebration of their overnight visit and included paintings by Thomas Eakins, Lyonel Feininger, Marsden Hartley, and Franz Kline, and sculptures by Henry Moore and Pablo Picasso, among others.

The exhibition will reunite for the first time the paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, highlighting the diverse and thoughtful installation of artworks brought together for the presidential couple. Hotel Texas will also reveal for the first time the complete story of the presidential suite 850 installation, which until now was overshadowed by the president’s tragic death, and examine the significance of art both to the Kennedys and to the Dallas–Fort Worth communities. It will bring to light related materials, most of which have remained in private collections since 1963, including photographs of the suite prior to the couple’s arrival and documentation relating to the president’s assassination.

Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy is organized by the Dallas Museum of Art in association with the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. The Fort Worth presentation is supported in part by generous contributions in memory of Ruth Carter Stevenson from Shirlee J. and Taylor Gandy and Bob and Patricia Schieffer; and by Kathryn and Morris Matson in honor of Gwendolyn Weiner and Scott Grant Barker. Prior to the presentation at the Amon Carter, the exhibition is on view at the DMA from May 26–September 15, 2013.

Visit the auditorium on the first floor every Sunday during this exhibition, from noon to 5 p.m., to view Listening Hard – Remembering JFK on Record (2013) by Alan Govenar (b. 1952). This video loop memorializes President Kennedy through different audio recordings. Hear an eyewitness account of his trip to Dallas and listen to music that conveys the story and sadness of the country’s loss. All of these sounds humanize the man and the myth.

Read a review of the exhibition from the Wall Street Journal.


Tours of this exhibition take place Thursday through Sunday at 3:30 p.m. and begin at the exhibition entrance on the second floor. No reservations are required; admission is free.

Click on the names below to hear what these individuals recall about the Kennedys' visit to Fort Worth.

Bill Paxton, actor

Raymond Fisher, former Fort Worth deputy

Kaye Buck McDermott, daughter of Fort Worth community leader

Ronnie Martin, former band director

Michael Okon, high school student in 1963

Donna Axum-Whitworth, former Miss America

Robert and Ricardo Medrano, Dallas community leaders

Tom Vandergriff, former U.S. congressman

Jim Wright, former U.S. congressman and Speaker of the House

Jarrold Cabluck, former press photographer

Diane Coady, twelve years old in 1963

Oral History Collection, Courtesy The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

Watch a five-minute video about the Kennedys' trip to Texas, narrated by Fort Worth native Bob Schieffer.

Produced by The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza