Friday, November 22, 2013

Flash Back—November 22, 1963

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Visitors of all ages have been coming to the Addison see the exhibition Flash Back—November 22, 1963 and thinking about how artists have responded to this tragic event and the role of the media in shaping what we see and how we see it.

At this past Sunday’s gallery talk, exhibition curator Jaime DeSimone shared her ideas and perspectives. Visitors added their recollections of JFK as a president and how they felt when they heard the news that he had been shot. 

Firsthand accounts from teachers, visitors, and Addison staff members have helped our younger visitors understand the ways in which JFK’s death impacted individuals as well as the nation. 

10th graders from the Math Science and Technology School at Lawrence High School explored the idea of “the American Dream” in relation to JFK’s presidency. Sophomores focused on how JFK’s  legacy connects to the idea of “Community and Civic Engagement.” 

8th grade students from South Lawrence East wrote poems based on newspaper images of this historic event and read their work during their visit to the Addison. Students exercised their creativity by exploring unique perspectives and focusing on specific aspects of JFK’s assassination.

Phillips Academy international students explored the exhibition through the lens of the objectives of their English course, helping them to construct their own narratives of the American experience. 

Phillips Academy history classes used the exhibition not only to contextualize their studies of the United States in the 1960s, but as inspiration for their own forays into curating historical narratives. Just as Flash Back—November 22, 1963 asks viewers to examine the ways in which history is documented and communicated through media, the students selected, sequenced, and juxtaposed images from the Addison’s collection in the Addison Museum Learning Center to construct narratives that spoke to their own perspectives on themes from their U.S. history curriculum.

Flash Back—November 22, 1963 will remain on view until January 12, 2014.

- Posted by:
Christine Jee, Education Associate for School and Community Collaborations
Jamie Kaplowitz, Education Associate and Museum Learning Specialist