Recently highlighted in the Smithsonian’s online article “11 new art exhibits to see this summer,” “Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacques Lowe” is in its final weeks of viewing at the Booth Western Art Museum.
According to www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/12-new-art-exhibits-see-summer-180963622, “For years, Jacques Lowe served as President John F. Kennedy’s personal photographer, giving him behind-the-scenes access to the first family. For this photographic exhibition, which is in conjunction with the Newseum in Washington, D.C., and the Jacques Lowe Estate, expect to see a selection of the more than 43,000 photos Lowe shot over the years. Most of Lowe’s negatives and photos were destroyed during the Sept. 11 attacks as they were stored in Building Five of the World Trade Center, except for 10 negatives that were out on loan at the time. Luckily, Lowe kept a portion of his contact sheets and prints in another building, some of which are on display.”
Situated in the Booth’s Special Exhibition Gallery, “Creating Camelot” will conclude Aug. 27.
“It was a nice surprise,” said Tom Shinall, Booth’s director of marketing, referring to the exhibit being featured in the Smithsonian article. “As director of marketing, I receive notifications when the Booth is mentioned across media outlets. When I looked into this specific notification, I immediately recognized it came via the Smithsonian. They had researched current exhibitions across the country and narrowed it down to ‘11 new art exhibits to see this summer.’
“The list includes incredible exhibitions at venues, such as San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Denver [Botanic] Gardens, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Museum of Arts and Design in New York City and the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. Being recognized among institutions such as these is a great testament to the quality that the Booth portrays, and I hope that is something people are able to take away from their visit to the museum.”
Opened in April, “Creating Camelot” has surpassed the Booth staff’s expectations, Shinall said. The exhibit is drawing local, national and international visitors to the Cartersville museum.
“From a Booth perspective, we have set attendance records for the months of June and July. Summer is typically slower around the museum considering school is out and no field trips are taking place,” Shinall said. “This exhibition has certainly filled that void. From a visitor’s perspective, the feedback has been remarkable.
“For our exhibitions, we provide a notebook in the gallery for visitors to leave their comments and reviews. To quote a few, ‘Fantastic experience. Worth the visit!’ Reba, Czech Republic; ‘Thank you — It was great to take a break from today’s world and revisit Camelot!’ Pat, Atlanta; ‘Wonderful exhibit — proud to be able to see it. What an important part of political history!’ DJ, Woodstock. Our front desk has confirmed that visitors are coming in to see the JFK exhibit, and they are coming from all over. Our ZIP code report shows attendance during the run of ‘Creating Camelot’ to stretch across the country, even appealing to international visitors.”
Along with familiar images of the Kennedy family, “Creating Camelot” also features numerous components, enabling visitors to get a glimpse behind the photographer’s editing process and relationship with the first family.
“Highlights include 15 rarely seen photographs, an interactive kiosk, an original film about Jacques Lowe and the Kennedy family, original artifacts and magazines featuring Lowe’s photographs and a number of iconic images of the Kennedy family,” Shinall said. “Not necessarily a specific photograph, but my favorite part of the exhibition is the interactive kiosk. It is a large touch-screen monitor allowing visitors to view more than two dozen of Lowe’s original contact sheets, including the editing marks that indicate which images Lowe selected for publication in various newspapers and magazines.”
Opened in August 2003, the Booth is known worldwide for its extensive collection of contemporary Western art, holding the distinction of housing the largest permanent exhibition space for Western art in the nation. The 120,000-square-foot museum, which became an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution in 2006, offers a variety of exhibit spaces, some of which include the Civil War gallery; Sculpture Court; a presidential gallery; the interactive children’s gallery, Sagebrush Ranch; and a photography gallery. Titled “Picturing America,” the photography gallery’s first special exhibit “Ansel Adams: The Masterworks” is on display through Oct. 29.
“Our decision to create a new permanent photography gallery took into consideration several factors, including the response and overall popularity of our previous photography related exhibitions — Ansel Adams, National Geographic, Presidential Photography and Booth Photography Guild exhibits,” Shinall said. “With the continued accessibility, growth and impact of photography, the Booth has acknowledged the public’s reaction to photography as a fine art medium.”
For more information about the Booth’s photography exhibitions, call 770-387-1300 or visit http://boothmuseum.org.
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