“Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacques Lowe”

On display through Jan. 7, 2018

To mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of President John F. Kennedy, the Newseum is bringing back for a limited time one of its most popular exhibits — “Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacques Lowe.” This stunning photo exhibit showcases more than 70 intimate and iconic images of President John F. Kennedy, first Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and their children, Caroline and John, taken by Kennedy’s personal photographer, Jacques Lowe.

Lowe’s photographs of the Kennedys helped create the legend of the Kennedy presidency known as “Camelot.” His extraordinary access to Kennedy’s private and public life allowed him to capture events that others could not. Lowe’s photos document Kennedy’s rise to power, from his 1958 Senate re-election campaign to the White House, along with intimate scenes of the Kennedys at home. The exhibit also explores how Lowe’s images were used in the news media.

The original negatives of nearly all of the 70 images displayed in “Creating Camelot” were lost forever in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Lowe, who died in May 2001, had stored his negatives of more than 40,000 Kennedy photos in a World Trade Center bank vault. All of the negatives in the vault were lost in the attacks, with the exception of 10 negatives out on loan at the time.

The only existing images from the lost negatives were on Lowe’s contact sheets and prints, which fortunately had been stored in another New York City facility. The Newseum, working closely with the Lowe estate, digitally restored the images to museum quality for the exhibit. Imaging technicians in the Newseum’s exhibits department digitally scanned the surviving contact sheets and prints, which were never meant to be used in place of negatives for printmaking, and spent more than 600 hours working to remove scratches, dust and other blemishes from the images. The restoration work creates a comprehensive digital archive of Lowe’s Kennedy photographs and enables the Newseum to exhibit the photos at a resolution and size at which they have never before been seen.

Photo Gallery


 

“Important pictures that might have been lost to history have, in a sense, been pulled from the ashes.”
— Time.com
“The most amazingly intimate photographs of a president ever taken.”
The New York Times

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