John F. Kennedy’s Paintings of Brooklyn Crossing the Auction Block

Kennedy did a pair of paintings of Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn in 1960

John F. Kennedy's Paintings of Brooklyn Crossing the Auction Block
JFK's watercolor painting of sailboats on Sheepshead Bay. (The Paloger Collection/RR Auction)
By Evan Bleier / January 13, 2020 12:56 pm

You may have seen the official portrait of John F. Kennedy that was painted by Aaron Shikler years after the 35th president’s death, but did you know JFK was actually a painter in his own right?

Well, he was, and some of his work is crossing the block this month courtesy of Boston-based RR Auction.

In an offering dubbed “The Paloger Collection of John F. Kennedy Memorabilia, Historic Photographs & Original Negatives,” RR Auction is offering up a pair of paintings that Kennedy did of Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn in 1960.

Signed “J.F.K. 60,” both paintings were gifts from Kennedy to a socialite friend from Beverly Hills who was a big supporter of JFK’s run for the presidency in 1960. Neither has ever been seen or offered to the public previously.

“Kennedy was known to doodle ‘boats’ but these paintings reflect the artistic side of JFK that the public never saw,” according to RR Auction.

JFK Brooklyn Paintings
JFK’s watercolor painting of Marine Bridge in Brooklyn. (The Paloger Collection/RR Auction)

Collector Ronnie Paloger purchased the paintings along with the rest of the items in the collection for an undisclosed price in November of 2013.

“His favorite pastime was sailing,” Paloger told The New York Post of Kennedy. “And these paintings are so darned good. These are really, really special.”

Prospective buyers can put in offers for Paloger’s complete collection by phone until 5 p.m. on January 23. If the minimum bid of $1.5 million for the entire collection isn’t reached, the items will be sold off as individual lots.

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