ARTS & CULTURE

Remembering JFK's Death -- With The Help Of Andy Warhol

09/23/2013 08:28 am ET

President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, a tragic day that forever changed the course of American history. Whether or not you were alive at the time of the shooting, a granular image of the events that unfolded on that fateful day has become engrained in the collective consciousness of the American people. The omnipresent power of that image, not surprisingly, fascinated Pop Art visionary Andy Warhol, whose work obsessively explored the intersection of tragedy and fame.

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Selections from Andy Warhol; Flash-November 22, 1963; Collection of Herbert Brito. © 2013 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of JFK's death, the Telfair Museum in Savannah, Ga., is hosting an exhibition of Warhol's prints dissecting, obscuring and multiplying the iconic image of the late President Kennedy. Warhol created the series, entitled "Flash–November 22, 1963," five years after Kennedy's death, drawing off the emotional response of the American public, the iconic status achieved by JFK and his widow Jackie, and the ability of the media to transform an image from fascinating to dull and back again.

Warhol's prints include silkscreens of a grinning national leader, a presidential seal with bullet holes through it, hazy film stills from the shooting itself and stylized prints of a devastated Jackie O. The pop art maven captures the madness that occurred not only during the shooting itself, but in the multiplicity of images that appeared after the event, the first major news story to play out on live TV.

"I’d been thrilled about having Kennedy as president," Warhol explained in a quote documented by the Telfair Museum. "He was handsome, young, smart, but it didn’t bother me that much that he was dead. What bothered me was the way television and radio were programming everybody to feel so sad. It seemed like no matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t get away from the thing."

The exhibition will run from October 18, 2013 through March 9, 2014 at the Telfair Museum, but if you just can't wait, take a look at the images below:

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Selections from Andy Warhol; Flash-November 22, 1963; Collection of Herbert Brito. © 2013 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

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Selections from Andy Warhol; Flash-November 22, 1963; Collection of Herbert Brito. © 2013 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

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Selections from Andy Warhol; Flash-November 22, 1963; Collection of Herbert Brito. © 2013 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

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Selections from Andy Warhol; Flash-November 22, 1963; Collection of Herbert Brito. © 2013 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

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Andy Warhol; Jackie II, 1966; Collection of Herbert Brito. © 2013 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

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Selections from Andy Warhol; Flash-November 22, 1963; Collection of Herbert Brito. © 2013 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

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Selections from Andy Warhol; Flash-November 22, 1963; Collection of Herbert Brito. © 2013 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

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Selections from Andy Warhol; Flash-November 22, 1963; Collection of Herbert Brito. © 2013 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

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Selections from Andy Warhol; Flash-November 22, 1963; Collection of Herbert Brito. © 2013 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

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