« Previous | Culture Monster Home | Next »

Jackie Kennedy papers reveal taste for fine art

February 14, 2012 |  7:30 am

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston has released documents from Jacqueline Kennedy detailing her first years in the White House, including her effort to renovate the mansion

Is it any surprise that Jacqueline Kennedy had sophisticated and exacting tastes when it came to fine arts? In case you needed proof, new papers released by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston show the extent to which the first lady oversaw White House renovations, including securing paintings and other works of art.

The documents, released Monday, contain thousands of pages revealing new details about the Kennedys' first years in office and preparations for Jacqueline Kennedy's famous televised White House tour in 1962, which aired 50 years ago on this date. Tom Putnam, director of the Kennedy Library, said in a statement that the papers show the range of the first lady's understanding of "art, history and public diplomacy."

As reported in the Washington Post, the papers show that Kennedy created the White House Historical Assn. and the Fine Arts Committee within a month of moving into the White House. The documents also show that she formed relationships with philanthropists and collectors of fine antiques, including Walter Annenberg, who donated a portrait of Benjamin Franklin to the White House.

The Franklin portrait was painted in 1767 by David Martin. It was described in a document as "the first major acquisition of art for the White House" under the then-new Kennedy administration.

Jacqueline Kennedy also managed the transfer of four Cezanne paintings to the White House that had been hanging in the National Gallery of Art.

Monday's release of documents comes at a time of heightened fascination with all things Kennedy. Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy.

The Boston Globe reported this week that the newly released documents show that Jacqueline Kennedy was instrumental in the passage of legislation designating the White House as a museum.

Some of the documents will be on display in the Kennedy Museum, the Globe reported, but most of the collection will be kept in an archival room and will be available on request.

ALSO:

Mary Todd Lincoln painting deemed a fake by art experts

Van Gogh painting owned by Elizabeth Taylor sells at auction

Grammy Awards 2012: Gustavo Dudamel, L.A. Philharmonic win

-- David Ng

Photo: Jacqueline Kennedy in the White House State Dining Room during the filming of her famous TV broadcast in 1962. Credit: Acanthus Press


 
Comments () | Archives (0)

Advertisement
Connect

Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...

Video


Explore the arts: See our interactive venue graphics



Advertisement

Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.


Categories


Archives