Life with the Kennedys: Photographs by Mark Shaw

Proud Central, 32 John Adam Street, London

Picture of Life with the Kennedys: Photographs by Mark Shaw

Event location:
Proud Central, 32 John Adam Street Charing Cross WC2N 6BP
When:Thu 22nd Mar 2018 to
Sun 6th May 2018
Where:Proud Central, 32 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6BP
Nearest Station:Charing Cross
Map:Map & Nearby
Times:Monday to Saturday: 10am - 7pm Sunday: 10am - 6pm

About the event

Proud Galleries is delighted to present ‘Life with the Kennedys: Photographs by Mark Shaw’, an exhibition of historic photographs of the Kennedy family by noted LIFE photojournalist and film-maker Mark Shaw. Within this poignant collection, Shaw chronicles the golden years of the Kennedy family as John F. Kennedy progressed from the role of Senator to his early presidency. The exhibition marks the 55th anniversary of JFK’s harrowing assassination, shining a new light onto America’s most loved First Family before the tragic events that followed.

Mark Shaw began his professional photographic career in New York City, capturing the notable celebrities of the 1950’s for Harper’s Bazaar and other major fashion publications. He built a reputation as a fashion and portrait photographer and freelanced for LIFE, shooting over 27 covers and more than 100 stories during his time at the magazine. Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Pablo Picasso and Brigitte Bardot were just a number of distinguished figures Shaw captured within his short yet remarkable career.

In 1959, Shaw was commissioned to shoot what would become his most memorable photographs; intimate portraits of Jacqueline Kennedy as her husband Senator John F. Kennedy was running his Presidential campaign. Over time he built a strong rapport with the family and became entrusted as the Kennedys’ unofficial photographer. Shaw documented ‘The American Royals’ at the White House and at their holiday home in Hyannis Port, producing his much loved photographs of the family in both official and candid settings. His close friendship revealed an unparalleled insight into their intriguing domestic life.

The exhibition includes JFK’s favourite portrait of himself, an introspective image of John wistfully walking into the landscape with his back turned, amongst other depictions of self-reflectivity. These quiet moments are contrasted with loving connections between mother and child, regal portraits of the celebrated couple and a playful image of Jackie leaning out of the family sailing boat clutching Shaw’s camera. The settings of Shaw's pictures vary from vacation retreats to the White House, but in each photograph the sense of optimism in the American Dream is present.

Following JFK’s assassination in 1963, Mark Shaw distanced himself from photography, affected deeply by the loss of his close friend. When Shaw unexpectedly passed away at the age of 47, the majority of his works were placed into storage and remained unseen for over 40 years. In 1996, Shaw’s son David and his wife Juliet founded The Mark Shaw Photographic Archive and his pictures were re-introduced to a new audience in The Kennedys: Photographs by Mark Shaw photobook. The collection has since become a lasting tribute to the work of Mark Shaw, encapsulating the memories and experiences of his close relationship with The Kennedys at a pivotal moment in American history.

Images courtesy of Proud Galleries © Mark Shaw /

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