Three weeks have passed since the death of Senator Ted Kennedy, "the Lion of the Senate." One of the most influential and powerful senators in our history, he served congress for 46 years. For millions, his death marks the end of an era. The political triumphs and personal tragedies of brothers Ted, Bobby, and John Kennedy have fascinated the public for decades.
The mountain of media coverage surrouding the senator's passing included the familiar, now classic newsreels and archival photographs depicting the lives and tragic deaths of his brothers. They are pictures steeped in mythology. The impossibly young and athletic Kennedys cavorting on their Hyannis Port, Massachusetts compound. Beaming smiles at various spots along the campaign trail during their political rise. Posing with their wives and growing families. And of course, there are the tragic pictures. We watched in disbelief as first one, then, incomprehensibly, two of the brothers were felled by assassins' bullets. And a tiny boy bravely saluted his father's coffin.
Though these images have been burned into our national consciousness, there is another collection of pictures, beautiful and rare, that until recently have not been seen by the public. A series of Kennedy family photographs, taken by the elite photographer Richard Avedon on January 3, 1961, are an exquisite addition to the body of imagery that documents this larger-than-life family. These unforgettable, and deeply personal pictures, now traveling in the SITES exhibition The Kennedys: Portrait of a Family, capture the essence of John F. Kennedy's young family at their finest, looking their most...mythical.
The exhibition's curator, Shannon Thomas Perich, says that "these poignant and stirring photographs never fail to trigger memories, generate conversation, and make visitors recognize that they themselves are part of American history."
To see more of these incredible pictures, or learn about the exhibition, visit our website.
-Teresa G. Gionis, SITES Writer/Editor