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#40 - Cecil Stoughton's John F. Kennedy Funeral Photo Album
Cecil Stoughton's personal chronicle of JFK's funeral
A large collection of twenty-seven 8” x 10” chromogenic prints apparently produced in the 1960s by JFK White House photographer Cecil W. Stoughton. The photographs are stored in Stoughton’s personal red calfskin photo album, the spine gilt embossed with his initials, “CWS,” the name of the event, “JFK Funeral,” and the date, “Nov. #2 1963.” The reverse of almost every photograph is hand-inscribed and stamped, as part of Stoughton's unique numbering and filing system. The double-weight, glossy color photographs were printed on Kodak paper. Expected wear including curling, slight fading, and lightly chipped or wrinkled edges, else in near fine condition. Four of the photos are currently stuck in their translucent sheet protector sleeves, and two photos are stuck together along the top edge; these condition issues could probably be remediated by a professional. Provenance: Sold by Stoughton’s estate at Bonhams.
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White House photographer Cecil W. Stoughton took a series of candid photographs of President Kennedy's funeral services. The archive represents a visual record of Monday, November 25, 1963, when JFK's body was transported from the Capitol Building to the White House, and from there to the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle for a requiem mass. Stoughton captured moving views of Kennedy's principal mourners, including widow Jackie, children Caroline and John, Jr., siblings, in-laws, the new President and First Lady, and various heads of state.
On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was tragically assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Later that afternoon, JFK's body was transported to Bethesda Naval Hospital for an autopsy, and finally, to the East Room of the White House around 4:30 am on Saturday, where it would lie in repose for the next 24 hours. A mass was celebrated six hours after Kennedy's body was delivered to the White House, when family members, dignitaries, and White House staff were granted access.
On Sunday, November 24th, JFK's body was transferred by honor guard pallbearers to a horse-drawn caisson, where it was taken down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol Building. Over an 18-hour-period, an estimated 250,000 people filed past Kennedy's body, paying their emotional final respects.
On Monday morning, as this archive solemnly documents, JFK's remains were taken from the Capitol Building to downtown Washington, D.C.'s Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle for a requiem mass attended by approximately 1,200 congregants. Archbishop of Boston Richard Cardinal Cushing, a close personal friend who had officiated at JFK and Jackie's wedding and baptized their children, led the service at the church where the presidential family regularly worshipped. Our archive stops after the service, right before the funeral cortege moved on to Arlington National Cemetery for Kennedy's interment.
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum has in its collections approximately 75% of the images represented in Stoughton's album. The six exceptions not in the collection are noted.
Stoughton’s photos include the following views, listed as they appear in the album, not in numerical order.
1. C422-5-63 A view of JFK's flag-draped casket, transported via a horse-drawn caisson, approaching the White House on its journey from the Capitol Building [Not in the collection of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum].
2. C422-6-63 Another view of JFK's casket proceeding up the White House driveway, in between two columns of color guards carrying state flags.
3. C422-7-63 Numerous foreign heads of state stand in front of the crepe-draped President's Front Door of the White House, while Black Jack, the riderless horse, is led away and the United States Naval Academy Choir performs in the foreground.
4. C422-13-63 President Lyndon B. Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson walk in the funeral procession to the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.
5. C422-19-63 Catholic officiants, including the Archbishops of Boston and Washington, D.C., greet JFK's casket on the front steps of the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.
6. C422-20-63 Archbishop Richard Cardinal Cushing receives the casket carried by nine honor guard pallbearers.
7. C422-24-63 A view of JFK's casket processing down the White House driveway en route to the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.
8. C422-26-63 Military brass enter the church ahead of JFK's casket.
9. C422-63-63 Heads of state and dignitaries representing Ireland, France, Spain, Sweden, Luxembourg, Germany, West Germany, Greece, Ethiopia, and the Philippines exit the church following the requiem mass.
10. C422-72-63 Former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy escorts children Caroline and John, Jr. down the cathedral steps following the requiem mass; Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy follows behind her.
11. C422-88-63 View of the interior of the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle during JFK's requiem mass [photo stuck in sleeve].
12. C422-90-63 A close-up of Archbishop Richard Cardinal Cushing at the altar [photo stuck in sleeve].
13. C422-65-63 Church officiants exit down the aisle [photo stuck in sleeve].
14. C422-64-63 Clerics process down the aisle [photo stuck in sleeve].
15. C422-78-63 Color guards salute JFK's casket on its way up the White House driveway.
16. C422-80-63 Former presidents Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower stand with Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and Truman's daughter Margaret Truman Daniel outside the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.
17. C422-96-63 Military brass walk up the White House driveway.
18. C422-100-63 Attendees file into the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.
19. C422-101-63 The religious procession led by Archbishop Richard Cardinal Cushing enters the church (mislabeled as C422-102-63 on verso).
20. C422-102-63 Another view of the officiants entering the church.
21. C422-107-63 As JFK's casket is readied for transport to Arlington National Cemetery, members of his immediate family are pictured from behind in the foreground.
22. C422-108-63 A close-up of JFK's widow and brother, pictured from behind, observing final preparations to the caisson.
Also includes five unnumbered (and possibly unpublished) color photos not among the 218 November 25, 1963 photographs found in the JFK Presidential Library and Museum collection:
23. A view of the Kennedy family descending the steps of the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, taken from across Rhode Island NW Avenue.
24. The family looks on as the pallbearers secure JFK's casket to the caisson [this photo is stuck to the top edge of the following photo].
25. Caroline and John, Jr. are escorted to a nearby limousine.
26. Family members await the casket's imminent departure.
27. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy helps Jackie Kennedy into a waiting limousine.
In overall very good to fine condition, with four photos currently stuck in their translucent sheet protector sleeves, and two photos are stuck together along the top edge. An incredible collection of Stoughton’s original color photographs showing the First Family and the nation mourning its slain president.