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

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

by Ms . Anne Garside (Author), PeabodyInstitute (Epilogue), Mr . Orlando Suero (Epilogue)

Synopsis

"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 Ethel Kennedy. 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.

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More Information

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 112
Edition: illustrated edition
Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Published: 29 Oct 2001

ISBN 10: 0801868564
ISBN 13: 9780801868566
Book Overview: An intimate photo essay of John and Jacqueline Kennedy's first year of marriage in their Georgetown home

Media Reviews
A stunning collection of images of the dashing young couple. Atlanta Journal-Constitution There is something naturally sweet about these pictures that no amount of worldly skepticism or factual realism can erase. Washington Post Suero could not know it at the time, but his camera was recording the couple in just about the last window of opportunity in which Jack and Jackie could appear as happy newlyweds... In spite of various underlying tensions, Suero's photographs project an idyllic quality, capturing a time of comparative innocence. -- Ken Whelan and Cormac Bourke Ireland on Sunday The Kennedy mystique still draws flocks of people to gaze at the former president's home in Georgetown. For those who need a bit more, this photo-illustrated chronicle of John and Jackie's first foray into Washington real estate might be just perfect. Washington Post The black and white photos reveal a simpler, more innocent age. -- Helga Rich Jerusalem Post
Author Bio
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.