Thursday, December 09, 2010

Rare JFK Photos Sold

So yesterday I saw that Audubon's book sold for $10 million, today its JFK photos for $151,000.
These were photographs from the estate of the official White House photographer, Cecil Stoughton:
Stoughton was the first official White House photographer. He captured public as well as intimate Kennedy moments. About 60 percent of the images are of public events. The rest are of private moments: the children's birthday parties, family Christmases, and vacations in Hyannis Port, Mass.

One of the photos was of Marilyn Monroe with both Kennedy brothers:
The Monroe picture with the two Kennedy brothers was saved from being destroyed by the Secret Service. It was taken at a private Manhattan residence right after the actress infamously sang "Happy Birthday" to the president at Madison Square Garden in a simmering tight dress.

Haley said, "There apparently was a directive to the Secret Service that Monroe not be photographed with the president."

He said agents visited Stoughton's darkroom afterward and removed some negatives but overlooked the one of the threesome because it was in a tray being washed.

This also included another famous shot, this one more well known:
One of Stoughton's most famous images shows Lyndon B. Johnson being sworn in aboard Air Force One following Kennedy's assassination Nov. 22, 1963. The photo shows Johnson with his hand raised taking the oath of office surrounded by his wife and Jacqueline Kennedy still wearing her blood-splattered dress. It sold for $13,420, above its presale estimate of $5,000 to $7,000.

"It is one of the most iconic images of the 20th century," said Haley.

Johnson signed it: "To Cecil Stoughton, with high regards and appreciation, Lyndon B. Johnson."

In the immediate chaotic aftermath of the assassination, Stoughton learned that Johnson was being sworn in on the aircraft on a Dallas airfield and rushed over in a car, said Haley. As he was running across the tarmac, "the Secret Service thought it was another assassination attempt and almost fired at him," he said.

Haley said Stoughton's camera jammed just as Johnson was about to be sworn in but he gave it a good shake and it starting working again.

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