Newseum Restores Kennedy Images Lost on 9/11 for New Exhibit

Contact sheets of photos of JFK during Senate race © Newseum

Jack Lowe was John F. Kennedy’s personal photographer and the images he captured — from the start of JFK’s presidential campaign through the early years of his presidency — form a valuable record of the Kennedys’ lives. Lowe died in May 2001, and in that respect perhaps he was fortunate not to have lived to see the destruction of much of his life’s work later that year. Lowe’s photographic negatives for more than 40,000 Kennedy images were stored in a bank vault at the World Trade Center, and all but 10 of them (which were out on loan at the time) were destroyed on 9/11.

The Newseum in Washington D.C. has worked with Lowe’s estate to restore some of the images, and their efforts will be on display in a new exhibit called Creating Camelot, which opens on April 12th. The photographer’s contact sheets were stored in a different facility in New York, and Newseum conservators scanned and painstakingly restored 70 images for the exhibit.

Creating Camelot will be on display at the Newseum alongside two other exhibits about the Kennedys and their portrayal in the media, and will run until January 2014. This year will mark the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

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