Life with the Kennedys: Photographs by Mark Shaw
22nd March – 6th May 2018
This latest exhibition at Proud Central shines a light on the golden years of the Kennedy family, chronicling the rise of John F. Kennedy from Senator to President of the United States, with fascinating and insightful photographs of him and his family, taken by renowned LIFE photojournalist and film-maker Mark Shaw, in the 55th year after JFK’s assassination in Dallas, Texas.
Mark Shaw became the family’s ‘unofficial’ photographer after being commissioned to follow Jacqueline Kennedy on her husband’s campaign trail in 1959, taking official and candid snaps of America’s first family at the White House and on holiday in Hyannis Port. The exhibition features some of JFK’s and the First Lady’s favourite photographs: portraits, pictures taken in the office or at rallies, family scenes with their children Caroline and John Jr. and others of the couple relaxing in their lounge or with a good book in the garden.
We all know now that JFK was no saint and that his political career was not without controversy, but these photos show a glimpse of the first couple that is both intimate and poignant, full of love and joy and hope, and it makes you wonder if in 55 years’ time, there will be people visiting a gallery looking at photos of the current White House inhabitants, feeling the same as I did when I was seeing these photos. I somehow doubt it.
About Mark Shaw:
Mark Shaw began his professional photographic career in New York City in the 1950’s, working for Harper’s Bazaar and other major fashion publications. He was a fashion and portrait photographer and freelanced for LIFE, contributing over 27 covers and more than 100 stories during his time at the magazine. Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Pablo Picasso and Brigitte Bardot were also photographed by him during his career. Sadly, Mark Shaw was badly affected by his friend JFK’s assassination and gave up photography. After his sudden death at the age of 47, his works were put into storage where they remained unseen for many years.
In 1996, Shaw’s son David and his wife Juliet founded The Mark Shaw Photographic Archive and his pictures were re-introduced to a new audience in The Kennedys: Photographs by Mark Shaw photobook.
32 John Adam Street