Remembering Jack: Intimate and Unseen Photographs of the Kennedy's
Bulfinch, 2003 (2003)
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Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
n some ways, this book might have been more appropriately titled
'Remembering Jack and Jacques'
as, through his choices of what to shoot, it shows us the photographer (who died in 2001) as much as his subject.
he book opens with introductions. First Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks of Jacques Lowe, whom he knew since childhood, and credits the photographer with helping JFK get elected. Then Thomasina Lowe talks of the loss of her father's life work (over 40,000 negatives of John Kennedy and his family) at the World Trade Center on 9/11. She tells us that her father said of Kennedy,
'he empowered each one of us to believe we could make a difference.'
any of the images in the book have been published for the first time - they were recovered from prints and contact sheets, and the latter are especially interesting as they show sequences, and the photographer's choice (red editing marks) of a picture in context of the moments (and emotions) that surround it. In another essay, Hugh Sidey speaks about Jacques Lowe's
that was something new at the time. The book ends, fittingly, with a tribute to the photographer, written by author Tom Wolfe.
hotos are shown in series, each preceded by an introduction of their context, with chapter headings like
. Intelligence and humanity (both of the photographer and his main subject) shine through these pictures. They include very touching family moments, especially of Jackie with a very young Caroline, and of Bobby and Ethel, Ted and Joan Kennedy with their young families at Hyannis Port and Hickory Hill. And kids and adults all look so young!
or those who lived through the 50s and 60s,
will provide a nostalgic journey back to a time full of hope, and to its sad ending. It's a remarkable exhibition of photographs.
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