“Creating Camelot” comes to Cape Cod

After a record of nearly 75,000 visitors in 2017, the JFK Hyannis Museum is ready to open for an exciting 2018 season, ushering in a new Special Exhibit, “Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacques Lowe.”

The museum will open for the season on April 16, 2018. The “Creating Camelot” traveling exhibit – created by the interactive Newseum in Washington D.C., in collaboration with the Jacques Lowe estate – will open on May 14, 2018.

Jacques Lowe’s iconic images helped create the legend of the Kennedy presidency that later became known as Camelot, which still fires the imagination and fuels civic engagement.

“Jacques Lowe’s photographs were instrumental in shaping Kennedy’s image. Thanks to his unprecedented access during the presidential campaign, he was able to photograph intimate images, which had never before been used to that extent in politics before that,” said JFK Hyannis Museum Executive Director John L. Allen.

The exhibit features intimate, behind-the-scenes images of John F. Kennedy, his wife, Jacqueline, and their children, Caroline and John, taken by Kennedy’s personal photographer. The original negatives of nearly all of the 70 images displayed in “Creating Camelot” were lost in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Lowe, who died in May 2001, had stored his negatives of more than 40,000 Kennedy photos in a World Trade Center bank vault. All of the negatives in the vault were lost in the attacks, with the exception of 10 negatives out on loan at the time.

The only existing images from the lost negatives were on Lowe’s contact sheets and prints, stored in another New York City facility. The Newseum in Washington, D.C., working closely with the Lowe estate, digitally restored the images, creating a comprehensive digital archive.

Imaging technicians in the Newseum’s exhibits department digitally scanned the surviving contact sheets and prints and spent more than 600 hours working to remove scratches, dust, and other blemishes from the images. The restoration work created a comprehensive digital archive and enabled the display of the photos at a resolution and size never before been seen.

A large touch-screen monitor in the “Creating Camelot” exhibit allows visitors to view more than two dozen of Lowe’s original contact sheets, including the editing marks that indicate which images Lowe selected for publication in various newspapers and magazines.

“Just as Kennedy’s Camelot served as a source of inspiration for previous generations, this exhibit will not only demonstrate how the legend of Camelot was created, but how the sense of hope and optimism associated with that era can inspire a new generation to create their own Camelot,” Allen said.

In addition to the “Creating Camelot” exhibit, the museum will also unveil an exhibit on July 2, 2018 to commemorate Robert F. Kennedy, as the nation marks the 50th anniversary of his death. The RFK exhibit, which is being put together in collaboration with the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Foundation, will feature images of his early years on Cape Cod as well as his Presidential Campaign of 1968. Included will be a video created to share special memorable and historic times in the life of RFK – including the famous train ride from NYC to Washington DC following his funeral service.

The museum is also poised to unveil in the fall of 2018 a new Auditorium/Media Room as well as a Community Room now under construction in the lower-level. Both will be active as the museum strives to strengthen and promote civic learning and engagement opportunities through the expanding range of cultural and educational activities and programs to encourage people to participate in civic life.

“I’m excited what the museum will offer for the upcoming season to delight all of our loyal visitors and participants attending our exhibits, speaker events, and educational programs while striving to attract a new generation to see Cape Cod history come alive,” Allen said.

About the Museum:

The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum preserves and promotes the legacy of President Kennedy, his family, and their deep connection to Cape Cod for audiences of all ages. First opened in 1992, the Museum provides educational and cultural activities through exhibits, guest speaker programs and workshops across Cape Cod and the Islands. With more than 74,000 visitors in 2017, the museum is one of the most popular attractions in the region.  Visit us at www.jfkhyannismuseum.org