527 – Jacqueline Kennedy/ Warhol and Rockwell

Jacqueline Kennedy/ Warhol and Rockwell

Andy Warhol (1928-1987)
Jackie, ca.1964
Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas
Collection of Williams College Museum of Art; Partial gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. and museum purchase from the John B. Turner ’24 Memorial Fund and Karl E. Weston Memorial Fund

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), Portrait of Jackie Kennedy, 1963. Oil on canvas, 14” x 11”. Story illustration for “How Jackie Restyled the White House,” Saturday Evening Post, October 26, 1963. Collection of Mica and Richard Hadar. ©SEPS: Licensed by Curtis Licensing, Indianapolis, IN

Audio commentary by Stephanie Plunkett, Deputy Director/Chief Curator of Norman Rockwell Museum and
Jesse Kowalski, Curator of Exhibitions of Norman Rockwell Museum

Speaker 1: One of the other figures that seemed to be very compelling for Andy Warhol, in mid century America was, Jacquelin Kennedy and I wondered if you could say a little bit about why that was. And did the two know each other?

Speaker 2: Well, Warhol and Mrs. Kennedy didn’t know each other at the time, though, in the 1970’s and early 1980’s they did become quite friendly and would hang out together at Studio 54, and the Warhol’s home in Montauk. His reason for painting the portrait of Jackie Kennedy, really go back to his childhood, when he would go to church.

He was an Orthodox Catholic and he would sit in mass for hours with these images of the Madonna and child. I think that, that really influenced his portrait of Jackie Kennedy, as kind of this woman in mourning. She’s in some of these images. She’s at the funeral with the veil on and other images, it’s actually in the motorcade. She’s wearing the pill box hat design by Halston, who is also another friend of Warhol’s.

His image of Jacquelin Kennedy, I think was really to capture this moment in time. This woman who faces tremendous defeat and would go on to become successful later in life. It was also another celebrity. It was a woman American knew and fallen in love with. This was Warhol’s chance, I guess to give back to the American public.