As the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination nears, a new exhibit at Endicott College reminds visitors how much was lost that tragic day in 1963.
“The exhibit will really bring people back to that time of hope in America,” said Kathleen Moore, coordinator of visual arts and gallery director at Endicott. “I hope people come and enjoy the exhibit and take something back with them — a piece of hope that seems to be missing right now.”
“Capturing Camelot: Stanley Tretick’s Iconic Images of the Kennedys” opened earlier this month and will be at the Heftler Visiting Artist Gallery until Friday, Dec. 20.
Tretick, who died in 2011, photographed Kennedy on the campaign trail in 1960 for United Press International and later took candid photos of the president and his children in the White House. These appeared in Look magazine and were used in the book “Capturing Camelot” by Kitty Kelley. Kelley, who was a friend of Tretick, will be at the gallery on Thursday, Nov. 21, for a reception and presentation.
“If you read the book, Kelley talks about how (Tretick) was able to make his way into specific situations where no one else was allowed,” Moore said. “There’s a lot of back story to all of the images. Within the exhibit, there will be a lot of narrative along with each piece.”
Take, for example, the famous photo of John Kennedy Jr., then 21/2, playing under the president’s desk. Tretick shot it while Jacqueline Kennedy was vacationing in Greece.
While his wife wanted to limit her children’s exposure in the press, the president thought Tretick’s photos helped him project a positive public image, according to Moore.
But the image of John-John playing in the Oval Office, taken in 1963, was simply heartbreaking when it appeared in Look shortly after Kennedy was killed.