In commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the untimely death of President John F. Kennedy, the Louisiana Old State Capitol presents "Iconic JFK Moments Through the Lens of Jacques Lowe." This exhibit, running from October 31 to December 21, offers a rare glimpse into the private world of the Kennedy family through the lens of Kennedy's personal photographer, Jacques Lowe.
In 1956, fate brought Lowe together with Robert F. Kennedy during an editorial assignment, marking the beginning of a friendship that would forever link him to the Kennedy legacy. Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy, recognizing Lowe's exceptional talent, commissioned him to photograph his "other son, Jack," leading to Lowe's role as the Official Campaign Photographer for John F. Kennedy's presidential bid. Despite declining the White House Photographer's position, Lowe accepted the president's invitation to "stick around and record my administration."
Over the course of their collaboration, Jacques Lowe captured over 40,000 images of the Kennedy family, both at work and at play. These intimate and behind-the-scenes moments significantly shaped the public perception of the era famously dubbed Camelot. Intriguingly, Lowe, aware of the immense value of his photographic archive, stored his negatives in a fire-proof bank vault in the World Trade Center. On September 11th, 2001, his entire archive was lost, except for images preserved on contact sheets and prints stored elsewhere.
The Newseum in Washington D.C., in collaboration with the Lowe estate, undertook the digital restoration of these invaluable images to museum quality. The first exhibition of the restored photos garnered widespread acclaim. In 2021, the Briscoe Center for American History at The University of Texas at Austin acquired the Jacques Lowe Photographic Archive.
"Jacques Lowe's photographs are an essential piece of the Kennedy legacy," remarked Stephen Kennedy Smith, nephew of John F. Kennedy. "His work captured our family's intimate moments but served a larger purpose. He documented the inner workings of the American political process, from the campaign trail to the White House."
Visitors to "Iconic JFK Moments Through the Lens of Jacques Lowe" will witness a visual journey through the lens of a photographer whose images not only encapsulated a historic presidency but also preserved the essence of an era that continues to captivate the world.