Art Reframes History Programming

Art Reframes History is a special installation of works of art at The Sixth Floor Museum that explores the variety of ways artists interpret history. The creative voices in this exhibit span time and geography but all share a common point of inspiration: the life and legacy of President Kennedy. Featuring visual art as well as musical composition and performance, the exhibit presents ten different artistic responses expressed in a variety of media—including photography, oil painting and screen prints, opera and musical theater, string quartet and percussion ensemble. Drawn from the Museum’s collections, the featured works serve as examples of the breadth of creativity that one historic event can inspire. 

Special virtual programs will complement the installation and will help visitors explore the lasting impact of the Kennedy assassination on creative voices and, more broadly, about the inspiration artists find in history and pop culture 

The exhibition is on view September 9, 2020 – April 4, 2021. 

Support for Art Reframes History is provided by


Public Programs

Support for public programs is provided by the Virgil P. Warren foundation.

Interrogating Art 

Join The Sixth Floor Museum staff in this series of dialogues with artists, curators and experts to dive into the works of visual art in the exhibit.  

Watch this series of programs on the Museum’s social media channels.

YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Tuesday, September 22 | Noon | Free

Andy Warhol created numerous works of art that uses the imagery of the Kennedy family and the assassination of President Kennedy. Join Nicola Longford, CEO of The Sixth Floor Museum and Anna Katherine Brodbeck, Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art, for a conversation about Warhol’s lasting fascination.

Tuesday, September 29 | Noon | Free

Jens Lorenzen, a German artist, grew up in the 1960s. Fascinated by the impact of the assassination on his home country, he has incorporated President Kennedy into his monumental series, The Wall. Join Lorenzen and Nicola Longford, CEO, for a conversation about the in-depth research he did at the Museum and the way that it informs his work.

Watch an excerpt of his oral history here.

Tuesday, October 6 | Noon | Free

Paul Sokal is a Dallas-based photographer as well as a medical doctor. He will join curator Stephen Fagin for a conversation about his meditative triptych that explores what it might be like the night before someone plans to carry out an act of violence.

Watch an excerpt of his oral history here.

Tuesday, October 13 | Noon | Free

Several artists represented in the exhibition manipulate well-known photographs to inspire deeper emotional impact, including Warhol, German artist Piet Wessing and Chinese American artist Alex Guofeng Cao. Join Charles Wylie, Curator of Photography and New Media at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and Nicola Longford, CEO, for an exploration of the artistic practice of adapting photographs to create an entirely new work of art.


Trauma, Tragedy and the Healing Power of Music 

Wednesday, October 7 | 7 p.m. | Free

Composers David Little, Steven Mackey and Jesus Martinez and librettist Royce Vavrek will discuss the power of music as it relates to hearing from grief and trauma. Each of these unique voices has explored the assassination through creative expression. Join them for a panel conversation, moderated by Curator Stephen Fagin, about this process and the ways we heal through art.

Watch excerpts of the oral history interviews with Little and Vavrek here, and Martinez here.

Register for this free program here.


Mama’s Boy
by Rob Urbinati 

Thursday, November 12 | 7 p.m. | $20

Mama’s Boy tells the story of Lee Harvey Oswald and his complex relationship with his overbearing mother Marguerite. The play follows her reckless attempts to reunite her family, from Lee’s return to the U.S. from Russia, through the assassination of President Kennedy, to her son’s own murder and her defense of his innocence in the months that follow. It is a fascinating and powerful examination of the dynamics of an American family and obsessive maternal devotion played out in the shadow of history. The reading of select monologues and scenes will be directed by Rob Urbinati and features diverse actors 

Watch playwright Rob Urbinati describe his play, Mama’s Boy, accompanied by historical imagery of the real-life participants from the Museum’s Collection here.

Mama’s Boy” is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc., a Concord Theatricals Company. 

Stay tuned for tickets and information.

Sponsored by


Programs for students and teachers 

Art and Healing workshop for students 

Saturday, October 24 | 10 a.m.
Saturday, December 5
| 10 a.m.

A complimentary program to Trauma, Tragedy and the Healing Power of Music, this workshop series is specifically designed for middle and high school students. Participants will be guided through an art-making project by experienced community partners and educators. 

Stay tuned for more information and registration.


Art and Healing competition for students 

Launches October 2020 

Open to middle school and high school students, the Museum will host a competition for students to create new works of art that find inspiration and healing in difficult and traumatic times. Whether responding to the assassination or more recent events, students are invited to express the healing power of art visually. Winners of the competition will be put on view in the South Gallery of the Seventh Floor.

Stay tuned for more information and registration.


Mama’s Boy student program 

Friday, November 13 | 10 a.m.  

A special learning experience for students will be offered in conjunction with the reading of Mama’s Boy. Actors and the playwright will explore the use of historical facts to create new works of fiction, as well as tenets of scriptwriting, performance and public speaking. 

Stay tuned for more information and registration.

 Sponsored by