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Kennedy, outside the Hotel Texas on November 22, 1963. Photo by William Allen

Imagine if you only had five days to create an art exhibit for the president of the United States.

That's the premise of Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy, the special exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art that reunites paintings, sculptures and works on paper for the first time since 1963--when they were corralled efficiently (in less than a week!) by area art collectors to spiff up a rather barren Fort Worth hotel suite that the Kennedys stayed in during their fateful North Texas visit.

From Thomas Eakins’s iconic Swimming to the Henry Moore bronze sculpture Three Points to Vincent van Gogh’s Road with Peasant Shouldering a Spade, the exhibition is a fascinating collage of artwork, archival footage, images and memorabilia documenting the Kennedy stay in Fort Worth.

In one gallery, a photograph shows Ruth Carter Johnson buckling up a Picasso sculpture in the front seat of a car for its transport to the Hotel Texas.

My, how times have changed.

“Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy” is on view through September 15 at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St.; dallasmuseumofart.org or 214-922-1200

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