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Robert F. Kennedy

Artist
Roy Lichtenstein, 27 Oct 1923 - 29 Sept 1997
Sitter
Robert Francis Kennedy, 20 Nov 1925 - 6 Jun 1968
Date
1968
Type
Collage
Medium
Felt tip marker and graphite and printed dot paper on lightweight overlay paper
Dimensions
Image: 50.8 × 40.5cm (20 × 15 15/16")
Sheet: 61.5 × 48cm (24 3/16 × 18 7/8")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine
Restrictions & Rights
© Estate of Roy Lichtenstein
Object number
NPG.78.TC492.3
Exhibition Label
The Democratic presidential primaries of 1968 were darkened by the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., race riots, and protests against the Vietnam War. For the May 24 cover that year, Time magazine featured Senator Robert Kennedy, who was attracting crowds of supporters with his antiwar stance and support of racial equality. The cover artist, Roy Lichtenstein, was as famous and controversial as Kennedy. Beginning in 1961, Lichtenstein had shocked the sensibilities of the art world by basing his pop art paintings upon comic-book illustrations and advertisements. Lichtenstein rarely chose real people as subjects, but he was intrigued by Kennedy's "lively, upstart quality and pop-heroic proportions as part of a legend." In this key drawing for the cover's color separations, Lichtenstein portrayed Kennedy as a cartoon-perfect champion of truth and justice, just weeks before the senator's assassination.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection