BOSTON — Artifacts from the Kennedy family’s summers on Cape Cod are now on display at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.
The library, located next to the University of Massachusetts-Boston campus, opened a special exhibit Friday featuring the golf cart Kennedy used to get around the family’s Hyannis Port compound, among other items the museum has not previously showcased.
The white cart, which has been restored but no longer is drivable, was featured on a cover shoot Kennedy did for Look magazine in 1962.
Curator Stacey Bredhoff said the museum has not really focused on the Kennedys at their iconic summertime retreat.
“It’s showing a side of him that we don’t really get to see in the museum,” she said. “He’d been coming here since a boy. It was here he really learned to love the sea, sailing, swimming and all the things that were so much a part of him.”
Bredhoff said the exhibit takes the place of one that focused on the 50th anniversary of the president’s assassination in Dallas in November 1963.
The golf cart, she said, has always been a part of the museum collection, but it had been in storage.
“It really wasn’t used for golf. It was really just for him zipping around the compound,” Bredhoff said. “You’d see him giving these really rollicking rides with 20 kids and they’re just hanging off of it, going up and down the hills, just for the fun of it.”
There is also a toy sailboat presented to Kennedy during his state visit to Italy in 1963 by President Antonio Segni as a gift for Kennedy’s son, John F. Kennedy Jr., who died in a plane crash in 1999.
A golf club and a set of personalized “Mr. President” golf balls are also on display.
Video footage from White House photographer Cecil Stoughton shows the Kennedy family relaxing on the Cape, from lunchtime cruises on their yacht to the president and his wife, Jacqueline Kennedy, playing with their children.
Outside the museum, in the grass overlooking Boston Harbor, is Kennedy’s favorite sailboat, Victura.
“Presidential Getaway: JFK on Cape Cod,” runs through October.