President John F. Kennedy’s administration coincided with a golden age of photojournalism in America— and no single politician was photographed more than Kennedy. Photographers and newsreel cameramen used images of Kennedy and his young family to convey a vision of a new America—a sophisticated world power engaged in building a bright future for its citizens. Kennedy, in turn, understood the power of pictures to convey his message to voters and was a willing partner in crafting his public persona to help build support for the space program, the Peace Corps, legislation on civil rights and immigration, equal pay for women, federal health insurance for the elderly—initiatives that would ensure a more diverse and egalitarian America.
American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times brings together seventy-seven images culled from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Getty Images, private collections, and the Kennedy family archives. The dramatic scope of Kennedy’s life is evident in these photographs—from his first congressional bid as a decorated war hero in 1946, his fairytale marriage to Jacqueline Bouvier in 1953, his run for the White House in 1960 and role as commander in chief, to the tragedy of his death in Dallas in 1963. These images remain as indelible evidence of John Kennedy’s personal charisma and political accomplishments.
American Visionary is organized by Lawrence Schiller of Wiener Schiller Productions. It is also organized in cooperation with John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and with support by Stephen Kennedy Smith und Getty Images. The exhibition is based on the book JFK: A Vision for America.