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Paul Edward Kennedy

Obituary for Paul Edward Kennedy

October 7, 1929 - July 21, 2018
Fairfield, Ohio | Age 88


Paul Edward Kennedy died Saturday, July 21, at his home in Fairfield, Ohio. He was 88.

Mr. Kennedy, artist and harpsichord maker, was graduated from Indiana University with a B.F.A. (1951) and an M.F.A. (1953.) In 1952 he was awarded a fellowship to study at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Mr. Kennedy studied painting and drawing with Alton Pickens, Jack Levine, Arthur Deshaies. As a painter, Mr. Kennedy's work was shown in New York galleries: ACA Gallery, Contemporary Arts Gallery, Grippi Gallery, March Gallery, Crystal Galleries, and Fitzgerald Gallery. He was represented in two American Federation of Arts Traveling Exhibitions and various regional and national exhibitions.

During the 1950s, Mr. Kennedy worked restoring Thomas Hart Benton's mural, America Today, then housed at New School for Social Research, NYC. He illustrated at least 34 children's books. From 1969 until retirement, Mr. Kennedy was art director and finally creative director for Dover Publications, Inc., NYC.

In 1959, Mr. Kennedy began building harpsichords which have found their homes all over the US and abroad. Mr. Kennedy showed his instruments at the Boston Early Music Festival, and was building instruments until his death. An ongoing archive of his work can be found at

Mr. Kennedy was born in West Baden, Indiana. He moved to NYC to start his career. After retirement, he and his wife, Emily Kennedy, moved to Danville, Indiana. He served on the board of Ensemble Voltaire (formerly Ensemble Ouabache), continued to build harpsichords, and served on the music committee at his church. Following the loss of his wife of 56 years, he moved to Fairfield, Ohio to be near his daughter and son-in-law. Mr. Kennedy is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Katie and Eric Johnson and grandson and his wife, Peter Kennedy Cavanaugh and Sarahana Shrestha. Paul Kennedy was loved and will be
missed by many.

Memorial services will be held August 25, 2PM, at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Hendricks County, 95 N. Jefferson, Danville, IN. The family requests memorial contributions to the Humane Society.

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