Camelot at Dawn: Jacqueline and John Kennedy in Georgetown, May 1954

Camelot at Dawn: Jacqueline and John Kennedy in Georgetown, May 1954

by Anne Garside
     
 

"I have just seen McCall's and so has Jack and we are so happy... They are the only pictures I've ever seen of me where I don't look like something out of a horror movie. If I'd realized what a wonderful photographer you were... I never would have been the jittery subject I was. Poor Orlando! Remember I wouldn't even eat a Good Humor. I was so lens-shy." —

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Overview

"I have just seen McCall's and so has Jack and we are so happy... They are the only pictures I've ever seen of me where I don't look like something out of a horror movie. If I'd realized what a wonderful photographer you were... I never would have been the jittery subject I was. Poor Orlando! Remember I wouldn't even eat a Good Humor. I was so lens-shy." — Jacqueline Kennedy, in a letter to Orlando Suero

In January 1954, the handsome junior senator from Massachusetts and his glamorous wife moved into a three-story townhouse at 3321 Dent Place in Georgetown. Although they would live here for only five months, the house was their first home after their wedding — the society event of the decade — and a place from which they could begin to prepare for the next step in their lives, one that would take John and Jacqueline Kennedy to the White House. In May of that year, Orlando Suero, a photographer with the Three Lions Picture Agency on his first major assignment, spent five days with the Kennedys. He enjoyed their full cooperation and the intimate access that would later, as Jacqueline became more anxious about her family's privacy, be denied to all but a few.

In more than twenty photo sessions, Suero documented a typical week in the young couple's life: Jack at his Senate office, catching up on work at home, and painting in the back garden; Jackie attending classes at Georgetown, gardening, and preparing for an evening of dinner and dancing; and the couple reading the morning papers around the breakfast table, looking through their wedding photos, hosting both casual and formal dinner parties, and tossing the football around with neighbors Bobby and EthelKennedy.

Suero's photographs capture the idyllic quality of the young couple's lives during their months in Georgetown. Not yet hounded by the media, John and Jacqueline in these images seem happier and more at ease than they would ever be again. Surprisingly, no magazine ever published Suero's complete photo essay. McCall's ran a few of his photographs that fall, but most of them have not been seen until now. In 1989, Three Lions Picture Agency owner Max Lowenherz donated the photographs to the Johns Hopkins University's Peabody Institute. For Camelot at Dawn, the Peabody Institute's Anne Garside has selected nearly one hundred of the most evocative and affecting pictures Suero took during his week in Georgetown. This remarkable document of John and Jacqueline Kennedy's first year of marriage recalls the romance and the promise embodied by their life together in America's last age of innocence.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801882074
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
03/30/2005
Pages:
100
Product dimensions:
8.48(w) x 9.68(h) x 0.35(d)

Meet the Author

Orlando Suero was a freelance photojournalist whose work frequently appeared in such magazines as Time, Life, Look, Saturday Evening Post, Paris Match, and Stern in the 1950s and '60s. In 1965, he embarked on a twenty-eight-year career as a Hollywood still photographer. He lives in Palm Desert, California. Anne Garside is director of public relations at the Johns Hopkins University's Peabody Institute.

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