Ted Kennedy, “Hyannis Port Compound.”
In the Cape Cod Times Karen Jeffrey reports that there are hundreds of Kennedy paintings and prints in private hands, and they have already increased in value. “According to several biographers, Kennedy began painting in earnest in 1964 after he broke his back in a plane crash that killed two others. He spent six months immobilized in Boston hospitals while his back healed. Painting, according to some who knew him, helped him pass the time during recuperation and later became a passion. Over the years his favorite subjects were those that anchored him to Hyannisport – the sea, sailboats and spring flowers. In 1992, when he married Victoria Reggie, he gave his new bride an oil painting of daffodils. Later, she told a reporter from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette about the origins of the painting: ‘We were reading the William Wordsworth poem ‘Daffodils’ and the last two lines are: ‘And then my heart with pleasure fills, and dances with the daffodils,’ and it was so wonderful and romantic and Ted said that he wanted to paint me a picture of daffodils and he did.’
“Kennedy often included humorous notes when giving his artwork as gifts, or inscribed them with self-effacing humor. Consider the oil painting he gave Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, which showed the Kennedy compound from the sea, with the tower of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church standing tall on the hill above. It is inscribed: ‘To Orrin, handle with care. If the paint comes off, the numbers will show. We’ll leave the light at the compound on for you anytime. Ted Kennedy, ‘91.'”
“Elizabeth Ives Hunter, executive director of the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis, has seen Kennedy originals in private collections and displayed at charitable events. Kennedy, she said, had talent and painted for the joy of painting. ‘He painted when he had the time and he unquestionably was able to capture light falling across a form,’ she said. In his sailboat paintings, ‘he always got the rigging right, and that’s important.’
“‘There are a number of notable historic and political figures who painted, including Winston Churchill and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, she said. ‘It’s instructive that if you look at folks who are most successful in their fields, and who chose painting as a recreation, (they) often do it well,’ Ives Hunter said. ‘This suggests there’s something in the process of creating art that appeals to outside-the-box thinkers.'” Read more.