Highlights from the Brent Ashworth Collection

Presidential signatures, space race memorabilia, and Cold War Era artifacts on loan from Brent Ashworth's private collection.


"Suppose They Gave a War... and Nobody Came" (1960/1970) by Brent AshworthHutchings Museum Institute

This large offset lithograph features an oft used anti-war slogan. The Vietnam War (a Proxy War) was highly protested, and this phrase highlights a poignant idea. What would happen if people, on both sides, refused to show up and fight? There would be no war.

President Kennedy Memorabilia (1960) by Brent AshworthHutchings Museum Institute

President John F. Kennedy

Elected President of the United States at the height of the Cold War. His brief presidency was packed with iconic speeches and pivotal decisions. Kennedy made a goal for the United States to set foot on the moon within ten years. He also navigated through the Cuban Missile Crisis, supported military involvement in Vietnam, and fought for the international Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Letter From Robert Kennedy (1966) by Brent AshworthHutchings Museum Institute

Robert F. Kennedy was serving as New York Senator when he wrote this letter to Ione Robinson, an American artist and writer. Kennedy was a skilled orator and succeeded in uniting divided parties. His opposition to the Vietnam War was an important aspect of his political ideology. During his presidential campaign Robert Kennedy was assassinated on June 6, 1968, after winning the California primary.

Certificate Featuring Fidel Castro's Signature (2001) by Brent AshworthHutchings Museum Institute

This document originates from a social work school graduation which Fidel Castro attended in 2001.
Fidel Castro was a revolutionary who established communist rule in Cuba by overthrowing the government and asserting himself as prime minister.

Memo From Ed White (1960) by Brent AshworthHutchings Museum Institute

On June 3, 1965 Ed White became the first American to walk in space during the Gemini 4 mission. At the end of his thrilling space walk, he said "I'm coming back in... and it's the saddest moment of my life." His life as an expert pilot tragically ended on January 27, 1967 during a failed test flight of the first Apollo mission. Along with Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee, also from Apollo 1, Ed White is remembered for his contributions to the Space Race.

John and Annie Glenn Signature with Photograph (1962) by Brent AshworthHutchings Museum Institute

John and Annie Glenn wave during a parade held in honor of the Mercury-Atlas 6 mission manned by John Glenn in February of 1962.

Letter from Harry Truman Letter to Stella Hershan (1968-06-19) by Brent AshworthHutchings Museum Institute

Stella Hershan has written two biographies on Eleanor Roosevelt. This letter also includes President Truman's praise for Mrs. Roosevelt and her work.

Reagan Era Camp David Dinnerware (1981) by Brent AshworthHutchings Museum Institute

President Ronald Reagan began his presidency escalating arms production to frighten the Soviet Union. In the mid 1980's with Mikhail Gorbachev as leader, the Soviet Union began to open up and Reagan responded with tactful diplomacy. Agreements were made to reduce nuclear weapons, and the Cold War was negotiated to a close. Reagan visited Camp David, the presidential retreat, the most out of any President.

Soviet Internal Troops Officer Hat (1960) by Brent AshworthHutchings Museum Institute

The hammer and sickle design on this cap is a symbol of communism. It represents the union of the working class and peasant farmers. This idealistic class union shifted into mandatory collectivization under Joseph Stalin during the late 1920's. The Soviet Internal Troops were tasked with controlling anti-communist rebellion.

Credits: Story

Generous thanks to Brent Ashworth.
Photography and curation by Thomas Blackwelder at Hutchings Museum and Institute.

Credits: All media
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