John F. Kennedy Assassination hearing artwork

04 Jul

A pair of original and deeply revealing medical illustrations, each 10 x 12.5, done in ink, gray wash, and tape, for the 1978 hearings on the murder of John F. Kennedy by the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Illustrating the trajectory of the first bullet against profiles of the President’s head and shoulders, both drawings were rendered by medical illustrator Ida G. Dox of Bethesda Maryland, who has signed one of the drawings, “Dox.” Drawings are housed in a 25 x 15.5 mat bearing her credit on the reverse, and both are covered by a sheet of heavy art paper bearing a stamped note: “DO NOT TOUCH SURFACE OF DRAWING.”

The first sketch shows Kennedy in profile with the structure of his spinal column, lungs and trachea filled in over which Dox has sketched the trajectory of the famous ‘single bullet’ that struck the President in his upper back. (The bullet exited Kennedy’s throat and continued onward to strike Governor Connally in the back). The drawing clearly shows the hole in Kennedy’s neck where doctors at Parkland Hospital performed a tracheotomy that obscured the exit wound. Dox also took care to illustrate the outline of Kennedy’s suit and tie.

The second drawing, simpler in style, shows only Kennedy’s basic profile and depicts three possible angles for the bullet’s trajectory as it entered Kennedy’s back and exited from his neck—necessary alternatives, as there was some question as to Kennedy’s exact position when the bullet struck. Because this bullet then struck Governor Connally after exiting the President’s neck, the trajectory was critical to proving the ‘single bullet theory’ that was derided by critics.

In fine condition. Accompanied by a color glossy 10 x 8 photo of Washington, DC, police test firing Lee Harvey Oswald’s rifle on a shooting range.

The drawings come from the estate of Cecil W. Kirk, a police officer, investigator and photography expert who served with the DC Metropolitan Police from 1960 to 1980. In the 1978 investigation, as head of Mobile Crime Laboratory and Photographic Services, Kirk testified before the House, using these drawings to discount what many called an impossible ‘zig-zag’ trajectory of a single bullet; illustrating how the slightly different positions of Kennedy and John Connally could account for the bullet’s trail, these drawings were one of the strongest pieces of evidence supporting the single-bullet theory. These illustrations were published in the official 1979 report as Figure 12 on page 100 of Volume 7 of the Appendix to Hearings Before the Select Committee on Assassinations of the US House of Representatives. A captivating and immensely important pair of original illustrations whose historic implications are still hotly debated today. RR Auction COA.


Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: