Paul Fusco, Untitled, from the series RFK Funeral Train, 1968, printed 2008; collection SFMOMA, purchase through a gift of Randi and Bob Fisher, Nion McEvoy, Kate and Wes Mitchell, The Black Dog Private Foundation, Candace and Vincent Gaudiani, Michele and Chris Meany, Jane and Larry Reed, and John A. MacMahon; © Magnum Photos, courtesy Danziger Gallery

Exhibition

The Train

RFK’s Last Journey

March 17–June 10, 2018

Floor 3

On June 8, 1968, three days after the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, his body was carried by a funeral train from New York City to Washington, D.C., for burial at Arlington Cemetery. The Train looks at this historical event through three distinct works. The first is a group of color photographs by commissioned photographer Paul Fusco. Taken from the funeral train, the images capture mourners who lined the railway tracks to pay their final respects. Looking from the opposite perspective, the second work features photographs and home movies by the spectators themselves, collected by Dutch artist Rein Jelle Terpstra in his project The People’s View (2014–18). The third, a work by French artist Philippe Parreno, is a 70mm film reenactment of the funeral train’s journey, inspired by Fusco’s original photographs. Bringing historical and contemporary works together in dialogue, this powerful, multidisciplinary exhibition sheds new light on this pivotal moment in American history.

Generous support for The Train: RFK's Last Journey is provided by The Black Dog Private Foundation, Nion McEvoy, and Wes and Kate Mitchell. Additional support is provided by Lynn Kirshbaum and the Mondriaan Fund.

Mondriaan
Header image:

Paul Fusco, Untitled, from the series RFK Funeral Train, 1968, printed 2008; collection SFMOMA, purchase through a gift of Randi and Bob Fisher, Nion McEvoy, Kate and Wes Mitchell, The Black Dog Private Foundation, Candace and Vincent Gaudiani, Michele and Chris Meany, Jane and Larry Reed, and John A. MacMahon; © Magnum Photos, courtesy Danziger Gallery

Exhibition Preview

  • Three blurry figures look up toward the camer, two hold a banner that reads, "So-long Bobby"

    Paul Fusco, Untitled, from the series RFK Funeral Train, 1968, printed 2008; collection SFMOMA, purchase through a gift of Randi and Bob Fisher, Nion McEvoy, Kate and Wes Mitchell, The Black Dog Private Foundation, Candace and Vincent Gaudiani, Michele and Chris Meany, Jane and Larry Reed, and John A. MacMahon; © Magnum Photos, courtesy Danziger Gallery

  • A group of people standing along a train track holding signs that say, "RFK We Love You" and and American flag

    Paul Fusco, Untitled, from the series RFK Funeral Train, 1968, printed 2008; collection SFMOMA, purchase through a gift of Randi and Bob Fisher, Nion McEvoy, Kate and Wes Mitchell, The Black Dog Private Foundation, Candace and Vincent Gaudiani, Michele and Chris Meany, Jane and Larry Reed, and John A. MacMahon; © Magnum Photos, courtesy Danziger Gallery

  • A large group of people standing on a grassy median in a city waving toward the camera

    Paul Fusco, Untitled, from the series RFK Funeral Train, 1968, printed 2008; collection SFMOMA, purchase through a gift of Randi and Bob Fisher, Nion McEvoy, Kate and Wes Mitchell, The Black Dog Private Foundation, Candace and Vincent Gaudiani, Michele and Chris Meany, Jane and Larry Reed, and John A. MacMahon; © Magnum Photos, courtesy Danziger Gallery

  • A faded square photograph of a group of black and white children and adolescents, seen from behind and in profile, watching a large train pass by from the train tracks

    Annie Ingram, Elkton, Maryland, 1968; from Rein Jelle Terpstra’s The People’s View (2014–18); courtesy Melinda Watson

  • A sitting girl in a motor boat surrounded by blue water

    Philippe Parreno, June 8, 1968, 2009 (still); © Philippe Parreno, courtesy Maja Hoffmann / LUMA Foundation

Super 8 Films from Rein Jelle Terpstra’s The People’s View

Glimpses of crowds waiting and watching, a train speeding past, American flags flying, and helicopters circling in the sky — these scenes were captured in home movies of Robert F. Kennedy’s funeral train on June 8, 1968, presented as part of Rein Jelle Terpstra’s research project The People’s View (2014–18).

Exhibition Catalogue

On June 8, 1968, three days after the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, a funeral train transported his remains from New York City to Washington, D.C. Combining artistic, vernacular, historical, and contemporary perspectives through works by Paul Fusco, Rein Jelle Terpstra, and Philippe Parreno, The Train presents three unique visions of this key moment in the history of the United States.