On June 1, 2018 the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum will open a new exhibit, “Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacques Lowe”. The exhibit features intimate, behind-the-scenes images of John F. Kennedy, his wife, Jacqueline, and their children, Caroline and John, taken by Kennedy’s personal photographer.
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.
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.
Lowe’s photographs helped shape Kennedy’s image in the news media and in the public’s imagination. Thanks to his unprecedented access during the presidential campaign, he was able to supply candid and intimate family images to the press, which had never before been used to that extent in politics.
Lowe was 28 when he met the Kennedys in 1958 and was hired as the family’s personal photographer. Over the next three years, he shot more than 40,000 images of the couple and their children. Lowe’s photos span from Kennedy’s 1958 U.S. Senate re-election campaign through his early years in the White House. The iconic images helped create the legend of the Kennedy presidency that later became known as Camelot.
“Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacques Lowe” was developed by the Newseum in collaboration with the Jacques Lowe Estate. The Newseum, headquartered in Washington D.C. promotes, explains and defends free expression and the five freedoms of the First Amendment.