Cowan’s Auctions in Cincinnati is offering this picture by an onlooker, believed taken less than a second after President John F. Kennedy was shot Nov. 22, 1963.
CINCINNATI — A Polaroid photograph taken the near-instant John F. Kennedy was struck by his assassin’s first bullet will be auctioned on Friday.
Cowan’s Auctions, based in Cincinnati, will auction the black-and-white snapshot taken by Mary Ann Moorman Krahmer of Gainesville, Texas, nearly 50 years ago.
The auction begins at 10 a.m. Friday and will be held at the company’s salesroom, 6270 Este Ave. in Cincinnati.
Cowan’s estimates the photograph and another taken earlier that day of a motorcycle police officer could fetch $50,000 to $75,000. The two images will be offered as one of hundreds of lots in the upcoming auction.
Wes Cowan, founder and owner of Cowan’s Auctions, said the images represent an early example of citizen photojournalism, and he contends they are “some of the most important news photographs” of the century.
The photographer, then a 31-year-old housewife, went to downtown Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, with a friend to see the president and first lady. She took a handful of images that day with her camera, capturing an image of President Kennedy less than a second after the first bullet struck. The photograph was reviewed thoroughly by investigators.
Katie Horstman, director of the auction house’s American history department, said it was difficult to estimate the going price for the images.
“Kennedy was photographed so much during his career as a politician,” she said. “It’s really the story behind these images that makes them so valuable.”
Auction officials said the photograph has faded, but it is not expected to deteriorate further.
— Vanessa McCray