Thursday, December 15th, Photographica FineArt is proud to present “The First Family”, an exhibition that brings together a selection of photographs documenting some of John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s family moments during his years as president.
Most of the selected photographs were taken by Mark Shaw who, since 1959, after photographing Jacqueline Kennedy for Life magazine, was appointed as the family’s official photographer. He began to follow the family during their many trips and during the presidential campaign. The photographs were mostly shot at the White House, but also in Georgetown and at Hyannis Port, in Massachusetts (the Kennedy’s summer home), for a period of four years.
Mark Shaw (1921-1969) had the good fortune of turning his professional working relationship into an enduring personal relationship with the family. This allowed him to capture the most intimate moments of John F. Kennedy, Jackie and of their children. He was able to show the presidential family’s lifestyle, during official occasions but also, and especially, during private moments. Shaw’s photographs fully grasped the normality of a family that was the subject of much curiosity and gossip, a family that was most certainly idealized by the American population.
Many of Shaw’s photos on exhibit were published in his 1964 book entitled “The John F. Kennedys: A Family Album”. The book was a bestseller.
Some of Mark Shaw’s photos are also accompanied by a few shots taken by Eve Arnold (1912-2012), first woman photographer member of the Magnum Agency who in 1961 documented the life of Jackie Kennedy, and also by a few shots taken by Cornell Capa (1918-2008), who documented for “Life” magazine Kennedy’s rise from the primary elections in Wisconsin in 1960 up to his first one hundred days of his administration. Cornell would become very close to Jackie who, in turn, helped him in the creation and founding of the International Center of Photography.
The exhibition will continue with a few shots taken by George Dumond and Roger Malloch, both Magnum photographers, depicting some moments of the 1960 presidential elections and with some interesting pictures of the Pentagon, the throbbing core of the Cold War.