The Kennedys: Portrait of a Family
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Printed in four-color black and white on heavy matte art stock, this book presents for the first time, over 100 gorgeous pictures of the John F. Kennedys taken by Richard Avedon on the eve of John F. Kennedy’s inauguration. Of these images, more than 75 have never been published in any form.
In the early 1960s, Richard Avedon was commissioned by Harper’s Bazaar to create a series of ten photo essays. His first essay, "Avedon: Observations on the 34th First Family" (The typo belongs to Harper’s Bazaar, as Kennedy was the 35th president) appeared in the February 1961 issue. The column included six direct, calm, poised, self-assured, black-and-white portraits of John F. Kennedy and his family-all taken on the eve of the inauguration. That same day, Avedon took color portraits of all four Kennedys sitting in the sun by the sea in Palm Beach. One of these images became the cover of the February 28 issue of LOOK magazine, and 11 more color and black-and-white photographs by Avedon appeared inside. Just before the magazine hit the newsstands and was delivered to over six and half million people, a set of 21 photographs, comprised mostly of the LOOK photographs, were released by the White House and appeared in newspapers across the country on February 13 and 14, 1961.
In addition to the Harper’s Bazaar, LOOK, and public relations photographs issued by the White House, this book features a selection of more than 75 outstanding images from the Harper’s Bazaar photo session that have never been seen before. Avedon donated more than 200 images of the session to the Smithsonian, and out of respect for the photographer, the Smithsonian waited until after his death to publish the best of this material. Photography curator Shannon Perich, who is on staff at the National American Museum of History, has culled an incredible array of images from that donation for this book, which tells the story of the photographs shot on January 3,1961, the story of a legendary first family-and critically examines the work of a legendary photographer.2007; Hardcover; PP, 128; 11 1/2"l. x 10"w.