Jacques Lowe’s iconic photographs of the Kennedy family are powerful visual forces that shaped the public perception of president Kennedy and the historical period. The photographs focus both on the story of the president who, in Lowe’s words, “empowered each one of us to believe we could make a difference” and on the intimate relationship between photographer and subject.
In 1956, Lowe received three independent magazine requests to photograph Chief Counsel Robert Kennedy, all within the same week. As Lowe and Kennedy became acquainted, Lowe was invited to spend weekends at the Kennedy household in Hickory Hill, Virginia. Joseph Kennedy, Sr. was so impressed with Lowe’s photography that he requested Lowe begin to photograph his other son ‘John’. After a couple of meetings, Lowe and John’s relationship become more personal, mostly due to Lowe’s honorable approach to photography. Lowe was then granted unprecedented access to one of the most iconic leaders of the 20th century, as well as members of his immediate family. His legendary photographs share an intimate view of John F. Kennedy through important moments in his campaign trail and early years of his term as President, as well as his family life. Lowe’s photographs of Jackie Kennedy are some of the most recognized images in recent history.
Lowe’s archive comprises over 40,000 photographs. WESTWOOD GALLERY NYC exhibited the historical images in the exhibition, My Kennedy Years, which included over 50 photographs by Jacques Lowe (1930-2001) and commemorated the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s death.
Lowe died in May 2001, and his original negatives, which were stored in a World Trade Center J.P. Morgan Chase Bank vault, were lost during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Only 10 negatives, which were out on loan at the time, have survived. The prints on exhibit came from the Estate of Jacques Lowe’s collection of vintage and modern fine art prints, printed and signed by Lowe prior to his death. Accompanying the exhibition was the book, My Kennedy Years: A Memoir by Jacques Lowe, Thames & Hudson.
Photographs © 2012 The Estate of Jacques Lowe