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Objects from JFK assassination go on display in DC

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 11, 2013 at 3:20 pm •  Published: April 11, 2013
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The photography exhibition, "Creating Camelot," features 70 images that were nearly lost in the 9/11 attacks. Kennedy's personal photographer, Jacques Lowe, kept the negatives of more than 40,000 Kennedy photographs in a bank vault at the World Trade Center.

While the negatives were lost in the attack, the Newseum worked with Lowe's estate to recover and digitally restore images from Lowe's contact sheets and prints that were kept in another New York City facility. Image specialists spent 600 hours over several months restoring the pictures, digitally removing scratches and damage.

An interactive screen shows the original contact sheets with some images Lowe had crossed out, including more candid images of the Kennedys. One shows the president falling out of a boat in Massachusetts.

This is the first time Lowe's photographs have ever been displayed together. Some were published individually in the Kennedy era in such magazines as TV Guide and Ladies Home Journal. Others have never been seen before.

Lowe was 28 when he was hired as the family's personal photographer when Kennedy realized the power of visuals in shaping his public image. Lowe's photographs span from Kennedy's 1958 Senate re-election campaign through his early White House years, helping to create the public myth and image of "Camelot."

"It is the story of a man who had unique, unprecedented access in a time where Kennedy was a visionary in how much he valued the importance of his public image," said Indira Williams Babic, who led the image restoration for the Newseum.

The collection also shows the Kennedys as real people, interacting with their daughter, Caroline, and their son, John Jr.

"I think one of the things we've been able to see is that yes, (Jacqueline Kennedy) was beautiful, she had great poise and elegance, but she was also a real mom," Williams Babic said.

The Newseum also is showing a new film, "A Thousand Days," exploring Kennedy's presidency and family life in the White House.

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Newseum: http://www.newseum.org/

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Follow Brett Zongker on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DCArtBeat