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[Kennedy | John F.] [Funeral]

Kennedy Funeral – Black Cloth

Black Fabric


SKU: 2761 Category:


Piece of black cambric from the White House State Funeral of President John F. Kennedy. This fabric was used to drape the East Room of the White House in preparation for the State Funeral of President John F. Kennedy. The decor was intended to replicate the look of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral. Provenance: Includes a signed note card from Lawrence J. Arata, the White House Upholster for the Kennedy Administration.

According to the oral history of Mr. Lawrence J. Arata, after leaving the White House at 9:00PM on November 22, 1963, he was immediately summoned to return. He was asked by Sargent Shriver if he had any black cloth, as Mrs. Kennedy wanted the East Room draped in black. He had a roll of “black cambric” that he used to finish the bottom of chairs. He noted that many people thought it was black silk, but they are incorrect. He and his wife worked until 4:30 in the morning to complete the desired decorations, matching what had been done for the funeral of Abraham Lincoln. They finished in time for the arrival of John Kennedy’s coffin. – Kennedy Oral History, 1964.

Additional information

Location Published

[Washington, D.C.]


The White House


Black Fabric

Date Published







[Kennedy | John F.] [Funeral]