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'JFK' Photography Exhibit Opens at the Newseum

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Today, the Newseum opens two new exhibits and an original documentary as part of a year-long exploration of President John F. Kennedy in the 50th anniversary year of his assassination. The JFK exhibits chronicle the presidency, family life and death of America's 35th president through rarely seen artifacts, photos and video, and explore how journalists covered one of the darkest days in American history.

  • "Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacques Lowe" features intimate images of Kennedy and his family taken by Jacques Lowe, Kennedy's personal photographer.
  • "Three Shots Were Fired" tells the dramatic story of the news media's reporting of Kennedy's assassination through powerful images and artifacts, including some items on loan from the National Archives, which have never been publicly displayed, that were with Lee Harvey Oswald at the time of his arrest on Nov. 22, 1963.

For its "Creating Camelot" exhibit, the Newseum restored more than 70 images reproduced from original prints and contact sheets after more than 40,000 original Jacques Lowe negatives of Kennedy photos, stored in a World Trade Center bank vault, were lost on 9/11.

"Creating Camelot" features intimate, behind-the-scenes images of Kennedy, his wife, Jacqueline, and their children, Caroline and John. Lowe was 28 when he met the Kennedys in 1958 and was hired as the family's personal photographer. Over the next three years, he shot more than 40,000 images of the couple and their children. Lowe's photos span from Kennedy's 1958 U.S. Senate re-election campaign through his early years in the White House. The iconic images helped create the mythology about the Kennedy years that later became known as Camelot.

"Three Shots Were Fired" examines the events that began with Kennedy's assassination in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. A United Press International bulletin broke the news that the president had been shot, and minutes later, CBS anchor Walter Cronkite began four days of unprecedented television coverage, including the unforgettable moment he reported to the nation that Kennedy had died. The exhibit features never before publicly displayed artifacts on loan from the National Archives including the long-sleeve shirt Lee Harvey Oswald was wearing when he was arrested, the wallet Oswald was carrying at the time of his arrest and its contents, a jacket investigators believe Oswald discarded as he was fleeing police, and the blanket Oswald used to hide his rifle in the garage of a family friend near Dallas.




AP Photo/Newseum, estate of Jacques Lowe

This handout photo provided by the Newseum, and the estate of Jacques Lowe, shows John F. Kennedy at a news conference in Omaha, Neb. in 1959. The Newseum in Washington, a museum devoted to journalism and the First Amendment, is marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination with a yearlong commemoration including two new exhibitions and a new film about Kennedy.



Newseum, estate of Jacques Lowe

This contact sheet features images of John, Jacqueline and Caroline Kennedy at theri home in Hyannis Port, Mass.



Newseum, estate of Jacques Lowe

This iconic image of John, Jacqueline and Caroline Kennedy was captured by Jacques Lowe, Kennedy's personal photographer, during his first photo shoot with the family in Hyannis Port, Mass., in July 1958.



Newseum, estate of Jacques Lowe

Jacqueline Kennedy poses at the Kennedy family compound in Hyannis Port, Mass., during a photo session with Jacques Lowe.



© Bettmann/CORBIS

President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy smile at the crowds lining their motorcade route in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963.  Minutes later the President was assassinated as his car passed through Dealey Plaza.



 Police Department, City of Dallas/Courtesy Les Ellsworth

This is Lee Harvey Oswald's mug shot, taken after his Nov. 22, 1963, arrest in connection with the death of President John F. Kennedy.




A television news conference captures guards and secret service agents escorting Lee Harvey Oswald at the Dallas police headquarters two days after his arrest in conjunction with the assassination of President Kennedy. Oswald was shot by local night club owner Jack Ruby shortly after this photograph was taken. November 24, 1963 Dallas, Texas, USA.



© Bettmann/CORBIS

A Dallas policeman holds up the rifle used to kill President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Lee Harvey Oswald has been charged with the murder. | Location: Police Headquarters, Dallas, Texas, USA.




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