The Durham Museum
Home > Experience > Exhibits > Past > Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacques Lowe


The Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacques Lowe exhibition showcases intimate and iconic images of President John F. Kennedy and his family, and explores how these images were used by the media. Jacques Lowe was Kennedy’s personal photographer from 1958 through his early years in the White House. Lowe’s extraordinary access to the Kennedys allowed him to photograph events others could not. His photographs helped create the “Camelot” legend of the Kennedy presidency. The exhibition features more than 70 photographs and contact sheets that document Kennedy’s rise to power, his 1958 Senate re-election campaign, his rise to the White House and intimate scenes of the Kennedys at home. Lowe’s original negatives were stored in a World Trade Center bank vault and lost during the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. This exhibition features photographs that were digitally restored and reproduced by the Newseum from Lowe’s original work prints and contact sheets.







Creating Camelot Programming



Omaha Hosts the Presidents

January 9 – May 22, 2016
Flyover country. Nothing could be further from the truth of what Omaha really is. With its strong military presence and economic output, Omaha has become a required stop for presidents and presidential candidates out on the campaign trail. This 12-image exhibit explores the various presidents who stopped in Omaha from the 19th century onward. Take home your favorite print, or the whole presidential package! Contact Bill Gonzales in the Photo Archive at 402-444-5071 ext. 525 for more information.

Preservation in the Archive
January 9, 2016 – January 1, 2017
Photo Archive Lobby

The Photo Archive at The Durham Museum has spent the past 40 years preserving and displaying the photographic history of Omaha. This exhibit gives visitors a sneak peek at our digitization initiative, explores the history of the archive and brings to light the museum’s race against time and deterioration to save these iconic images.

Cocktails with the Kennedys 
Join the On Track Guild for an intimate look into the Kennedy family.
Friday, February 19, 2016
6:30PM
Cocktail Attire
Tickets: $75

For more information or to make a reservation, contact the museum at 402-444-5071.


Up Close with JFK
February 20, March 5 and April 2; 9-10AM
Join local experts for a special tour and commentary of Creating Camelot. Space is limited on these tours (25) so please make reservations by calling 402-444-5071 or email reservations@DurhamMuseum.org.

Saturday, February 20 – Indira Williams Babic, Director of Photography and Visual Resources at The Newseum, Washington, D.C.

Saturday, March 5 – Creating Camelot: Perspectives on the Images of Jacques Lowe

Presented by Dr. Spencer Davis, Professor of History, Peru State College
Photographs of the Kennedy family by official photographer Jacques Lowe have an energy and unprecedented range of settings that helped create the impression of a modern day Camelot. Please join Professor Spencer Davis to explore other features of the Kennedy images revealed by the Creating Camelot exhibit.

Saturday, April 2“Packaging a President:  JFK and the Power of Media Imagery” 
Dr. Mark Scherer, Martin Professor of Western American History, University of Nebraska Omaha
John F. Kennedy is frequently described as the first president to take full advantage of the new medium of television to convey both his message and his image directly to the American people.  In this talk accompanying a special tour of the Creating Camelot exhibit, Dr. Mark Scherer will offer his thoughts on the way that Kennedy and his political handlers used not only television, but visual media of all types, to create and sustain the romantic “Camelot” imagery that has become one of the most enduring legacies of the Kennedy era.

Behind the Frame
March 11 at 11AM, April 5 at 6PM and May 7 at 11AM
Join The Durham’s Curator, Carrie Wieners Meyer for a presentation entitled, “Preserving Family Treasures” followed by a special behind the scenes look at the museum’s Photo Archive. Learn the important work being done to preserve Omaha’s history, as well as how you can preserve your own family treasures. Program will conclude with an up-close look at the preservation efforts within the Creating Camelot exhibition. Program lasts approximately 2 hours. Space is limited on these tours so please make reservations by calling 402-444-5071 or emailing reservations@DurhamMuseum.org.

Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacques Lowe was developed by the Newseum in collaboration with the Jacques Lowe Estate. The Newseum, an interactive museum of free expression, is located in Washington, D.C. Newseum.org

LECTURES
*JFK’s Real Heroism in “Camelot”
Presented by Drs. Jim Blight and janet Lang
Tuesday, April 26, 6PM
Stanley and Dorothy Truhlsen Lecture Hall
(Dessert reception to follow)

The Camelot legend emphasized JFK’s status as a war hero. Recent research has shown that he was indeed a hero of the Cold War, but not in the manner suggested by his admirers. We now know that the single most important reason global Armageddon was avoided in the early 1960s was the decision-making by President John F. Kennedy on matters of war and peace. He was a practitioner of “heroic inaction” and staying as far as possible from the abyss of war.

Jim Blight and janet Lang will explore Kennedy’s signature decision-making traits as a tale of two backbones - one physical and one metaphorical. Explore how JFK used his multitude of physical illnesses, near death experiences (receiving last rites at least four times) and chronic, lifelong back pain as a form of mental strengthening to navigate one of the most crucial eras of U.S. diplomacy.

Drs. Jim Blight and janet Lang are professors in the Department of History and Balsillie School of International Affairs at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.


*Space is limited so please make reservations by calling 402-444-5071 or email reservations@DurhamMuseum.org.



About the Newseum
The Newseum is dedicated to free expression and the five freedoms of the First Amendment: religion, speech, press, assembly and petition. Through exhibits, programs and education, the Newseum works to ensure that these fundamental freedoms remain strong and protected both today and for future generations. Headquartered on historic Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., the Newseum’s compelling, dynamic and engaging exhibits, programs and education initiatives help ensure that these fundamental freedoms remain strong and protected both today and for future generations. The Newseum Institute promotes the study, exploration and education of the challenges confronting freedom through its First Amendment Center and the Religious Freedom Center. The Newseum is a 501(c)(3) public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations, including the Freedom Forum. For more information, visit newseum.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.