Smiling Jackie - JFK’s Nightmare colours
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2 colour screenprint
330gsm Fedrigoni paper
70 x 85cm
Signed edition of 100 prints
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
In 1951 Jackie met John Fitzgerald Kennedy for the first time. The next year Kennedy was elected senator from Massachusetts and moved to Washington. The two continued to see each other, and they became engaged in June 1953. On September 12, 1953, Jacqueline Lee Bouvier married Kennedy at an enormous wedding that was the social event of the season.
Jackie Kennedy was a shy, private woman with little experience in politics or knowledge of politicians, but she was a help to her husband in many ways. She worked with him on his public speaking, helping him develop the charismatic (or charming) style for which he would become so famous.
In 1956 there was talk that John Kennedy would be the Democratic vice presidential nominee. Many members of the Kennedy family attended the convention, which was an exciting and exhausting one. Jackie was there to lend her support, despite the fact that she was seven months pregnant.
On August 23, 1956, soon after her husband had left for a short vacation, Jackie went into premature labor. The baby was stillborn, or dead at birth, and Jackie's brother-in-law Bobby Kennedy (1925–1968) comforted her and made the arrangements for the baby's burial. In 1957 Jackie suffered another loss when her father died. This was also a difficult period in the Kennedy marriage. Much was rumored at the time, and has been written since, about the various affairs that John Kennedy had both before and during his presidency. Undoubtedly, these rumors put a strain on his and Jackie's marriage.
On November 27, 1957, Caroline Bouvier Kennedy was born. Just months after Caroline's birth, her father was up for reelection as senator from Massachusetts, and Jackie was active in the 1958 senatorial campaign as well.
Soon after John Kennedy was reelected senator and returned to Washington, he began to seek the presidential nomination. Jackie campaigned vigorously for her husband until she became pregnant in 1960. Even afterwards she continued to help as much as she was physically able until the birth of her son, John Jr. This portrait of her was from this moment in her life, I wanted to capture the joy of a mother with a new baby, not a typical portrait of Jackie as the tragic widow.