HYANNIS, Ma. – The JFK Hyannis museum has just opened a new Special Exhibit, “Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacques Lowe.”
The “Creating Camelot” traveling exhibit was created by the interactive Newseum in Washington D.C., in collaboration with the Jacques Lowe estate.
Jacques Lowe’s iconic images helped create the legend of the Kennedy presidency that later became known as Camelot, which still fires the imagination and fuels civic engagement.
“Jacques Lowe’s photographs were instrumental in shaping Kennedy’s image. Thanks to his unprecedented access during the presidential campaign, he was able to photograph intimate images, which had never before been used to that extent in politics before that,” said JFK Hyannis Museum Executive Director John L. Allen.
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 in the terrorist attacks of 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, stored in another New York City facility. The Newseum in Washington, D.C., working closely with the Lowe estate, digitally restored the images, creating a comprehensive digital archive.
Imaging technicians in the Newseum’s exhibits department digitally scanned the surviving contact sheets and prints and spent more than 600 hours working to remove scratches, dust, and other blemishes from the images. The restoration work created a comprehensive digital archive and enabled the display of the photos at a resolution and size never before been seen.
A large touch-screen monitor in the “Creating Camelot” exhibit allows visitors to view more than two dozen of Lowe’s original contact sheets, including the editing marks that indicate which images Lowe selected for publication in various newspapers and magazines.
“Just as Kennedy’s Camelot served as a source of inspiration for previous generations, this exhibit will not only demonstrate how the legend of Camelot was created, but how the sense of hope and optimism associated with that era can inspire a new generation to create their own Camelot,” Allen said.
About the Museum:
The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum preserves and promotes the legacy of President Kennedy, his family, and their deep connection to Cape Cod for audiences of all ages. First opened in 1992, the Museum provides educational and cultural activities through exhibits, guest speaker programs and workshops across Cape Cod and the Islands. With more than 74,000 visitors in 2017, the museum is one of the most popular attractions in the region. Visit us at www.jfkhyannismuseum.org