American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times is a new exhibition commemorating President John F. Kennedy’s private life and public trajectory. One of the most exhaustively researched collections of Kennedy photos ever assembled, it brings together images from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, Getty Images, private collections, and the Kennedy family archives that capture public and private moments from Kennedy’s life. Some of the photographs on display are iconic; others have rarely been seen.
Kennedy’s administration coincided with a golden age of photojournalism in America. No single politician was photographed more than Kennedy—from his first congressional bid as a decorated war hero in 1946 and his fairy-tale wedding to Jacqueline Bouvier in 1953 to his run for the White House in 1960 and the tragedy of his death in Dallas in 1963. Documentary photographers such as Ed Clark, Lisl Steiner, Ralph Crane, Philippe Halsman, Ted Spiegel Jacques Lowe, Lawrence Schiller, Steve Schapiro, and Sam Vestal captured the optimism and challenges of the early 1960s in some of the finest and most vivid images of the period.
New-York Historical’s presentation of American Visionary is part of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum’s year-long, nationwide celebration that commemorates Kennedy’s centennial year. Based on the new book JFK: A Vision for America by Stephen Kennedy Smith and Douglas Brinkley, the exhibition is organized and curated by Lawrence Schiller of Wiener Schiller Productions and Marilyn Satin Kushner, curator and head, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections at the New-York Historical Society.The exhibition is also on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum through September 17.
American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times is presented by New-York Historical Society and Wiener Schiller Productions in cooperation with the John F. Kennedy Library and Foundation. Generous support for the exhibition has been provided by the Governance Institute and the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation. Additional support has been provided by Stephen Kennedy Smith and Getty Images.