J. F. Kennedy Memorial, Birmingham

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J. F. Kennedy Memorial
JFK mural.JPG
The completed recreation, February 2013 (Mike Nangle visible bottom right)
Artist Kenneth Budd
Year 1968 (1968)
Type Mosaic mural
Subject John F. Kennedy
Dimensions 4.5 m × 14 m (15 ft × 46 ft)
Condition Recreated 2012–2013
Location Birmingham, England
Coordinates 52°28′30″N 1°53′11″W / 52.474950°N 1.886312°W / 52.474950; -1.886312Coordinates: 52°28′30″N 1°53′11″W / 52.474950°N 1.886312°W / 52.474950; -1.886312

The J. F. Kennedy Memorial in Birmingham, England, is a memorial mosaic mural to John F. Kennedy, by Kenneth Budd.[1]

The mosaic, commissioned by Birmingham's Irish community,[2] and funded by public subscription,[1] was constructed in panels, at Budd's company in south London, Kenneth Budd and Associates.[2]

Original location[edit]

The mosaic was erected on St Chad's Circus (at approx 52°29′08″N 1°54′01″W / 52.485451°N 1.900173°W / 52.485451; -1.900173), outside the City's Roman Catholic St Chad's Cathedral, in July 1968, at a cost of £5,000.[1] When the road system was redeveloped in 2007 the mosaic was demolished. Key features, including the heads of some of the main figures, were retrieved and retained by Kenneth Budd's son Oliver.[3][4]

Re-creation[edit]

In 2012 it was re-created using new materials.[5] The new mosaic was erected in January 2013, in the city's Irish Quarter, on Floodgate Street in Digbeth,[6] in reworked form, including the controversial[7] addition of a new face, that of former Lord Mayor of Birmingham Mike Nangle, the city's first Irish Lord Mayor.[7] The work was overseen by Budd's son, Oliver,[1][8] who worked from his father's original drawings.[4] The retained sections were not used as the colours had faded and would not match the new Smalti mosiac tiles.[4] A formal unveiling took place on 23 February 2013.[9]

Composition[edit]

Featured alongside Kennedy in the mosaic are his brother Teddy,[10] the Seal of the President of the United States (using real gold),[11] Martin Luther King,[12] American policemen and other figures.

Text[edit]

The text gives an incorrect date of 1960, the year he was elected, for the start of his presidency, when he was actually president from January 1961. This inaccuracy was also present in the original creation.[13]

The original mosaic had wording at either side. The wording on the right[14] said (all in upper case):

There are
no white or
coloured
signs on
the grave-
yards of
battle

The recreated mosaic has different words. On the left (again, all in upper case):

In tribute
to John F
Kennedy
President
of
the United
States
1960-3

and to the right:

A man
may die
nations
may rise
and fall
but an
idea
lives on

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Authi, Jasbir (2011-10-20). "Planning application for JFK memorial to be moved to Digbeth is submitted - Birmingham Mail". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "KENNEDY MOSAIC MURAL". British Pathé. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  3. ^ Elkes, Neil (2006-06-19). "Oliver's a real chip off the old block". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Budd, Oliver (2012-01-01). "Meanwhile, Back to JFK". Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  5. ^ Budd, Oliver (2012-01-01). "Kennedy Mosaic Commission". Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  6. ^ "Digbeth's new JFK mural". Digbeth.org. 2013-01-18. Retrieved 24 January 2013.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  7. ^ a b Bradley, Steve (2013-01-11). "New row over adding face of ex-Lord Mayor Mike Nangle to Birmingham JFK mosaic - Birmingham Mail". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  8. ^ Budd, Oliver (2013-01-23). "ALL THE WAY - WITH JFK!!!". Budd Mosaic news. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "Birmingham JFK memorial back on show in Digbeth". Birmingham Mail. 2013-02-25. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  10. ^ Budd, Oliver (2012-10-01). "TEDDY'S BACK!!!!!". Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  11. ^ Budd, Oliver (2012-07-07). "THE PRESIDENTIAL SEAL". Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  12. ^ Budd, Oliver (2012-05-28). "MARTIN LUTHER KING BACK IN THE PICTURE". Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  13. ^ "John F Kennedy memorial bears 'wrong date of presidency'". BBC Online News. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  14. ^ "Kennedy Memorial & St.Chad's RC Cathedral. St.Chad's Circus. May 1970". Flickr. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 

External links[edit]