Today my mission is to do something about Art, not just write about it. Call it a Movement and–if you agree–let’s see what we can do together.
Last week on November 22nd The Dallas Morning News ran an article, Piecing together that fateful day, about a remarkable piece of Lego art. No matter what your politics or the year you were born, I think we can agree that the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas was a tragedy on many levels. Eric Peschke was born in Indiana twenty years after the fact, but, starting in about the fifth grade, he decided to re-create the entire scene: the motorcade to Dealey Plaza (where the shots rang out) then to Parkland Hospital (where the President was pronounced dead) and finally to Love Field (where VP Lyndon B. Johnson took the oath of office aboard Air Force One). Hundreds of thousands of Legos later Eric completed his project. He grew up and out of his mother’s house and offered to donate it to The Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, but so far they’ve demurred. First they wanted it glued together before considering it. (Eric declined.) At present they’re still interested but say it’s a matter of “timing and logistics to work it out.”
“Why not the Smithsonian?” That’s what I thought as I was reading all this in the newspaper last week.
More specifically, why not The National Museum of American History? It’s home to Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz; Julia Child’s kitchen; the original ‘Star Spangled Banner’; a special section on Toys & Childhood and another called, The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden. Can’t you see Eric’s Lego masterpiece fitting right in?
I emailed Michael Granberry, the journalist who wrote the article in the Dallas paper, and a short time later I had an email from Eric thanking me for the idea. He said he’d be happy to donate it to the Smithsonian (and disassemble and reassemble it); did I know anybody there?
Unfortunately, I don’t know anybody at the Smithsonian, but maybe somebody reading this blog does. Eric provided me with the photos you see here, and there are many more. His art piece is the size of a ping-pong table. It sits in his mother’s basement in Indiana waiting for a new home. Someday soon she may downsize, and what then? Today Eric works in corporate marketing in a Chicago suburb, but for one brief shining moment he was a young boy with a love of Legos and the artistic vision to create this homage to a fallen President and that fateful day.
Maybe The Sixth Floor Museum is reluctant to commit because the museum itself is the real deal. The sixth floor of the old Texas Book Depository building is where Lee Harvey Oswald fired his shots from a window overlooking Dealey Plaza. The exhibits in the Dallas museum capture the horror of that day as well as the good, bad and ugly of those tumultuous times. However, not everyone interested in this important piece of American history makes it to Dallas. Many more people visit the Smithsonian. That, in my opinion, is the more perfect home.
If you agree, let’s do something about it. Spread the word. Write to someone you know. Write to the Smithsonian. Here’s a link to a curators’ departments that deals with acquisitions:
Or, if you have another idea for a home for this Lego masterpiece, please share it.