October 20, 2016 – January 8, 2017
works by Christoph Niemann, Steve Schaprio,
and CAMERA WORK Collection
The Kennedys ran the first modern presidential campaign in U.S. history. Never before was the media of greater importance, and never before was the image of a president more pertinent. The family thus set a precedent for all succeeding election campaigns in the history of the United States.
There is hardly any political office comparable to that of the American presidency. How many presidents have already written history and thereby embedded themselves into the national memory? Who are those individuals that endure the everlasting scrutiny of the media and carry the burden of campaigning and subsequent execution of the nation’s highest office? In short, what does it take to become U.S. president? The special exhibition »THE CAMPAIGN–Making of a President 1960 & 2016« seeks to answer these questions on the basis of six significant factors surrounding a presidential campaign.
Presidential candidates are representatives of their time. Political circumstances determine which presidents are elected and which solutions find support in the population. What, then, did John F. Kennedy represent in 1960, and what do Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump represent today?
Often times it is said that financial means are indispensable for U.S. elections. However, what role does money really play? Is it possible to »buy« an election? Is multi-billionaire Donald Trump therefore in the superior position? The influence of money in the 1960 presidential campaign as well as its role today is illustrated.
Furthermore, presidential campaigns rely on volunteers to support the candidates. An effective campaign enables the mobilization of sizable crowds. Robert F. Kennedy–John’s younger brother–was a key figure in the 1960 campaign. Today, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump rely on the support of their families. While it might have been sufficient to solely count on the family in 1960, in 2016 a much greater number of personnel is needed to reach the electorate.
In the United States, politics has always been embodied by the individual candidates. This makes the image of a candidate a decisive factor for success in the elections. Utilizing the media in order to perpetuate one’s image is therefore crucial. Ever since 1960, television has been a key instrument to publically portray presidential hopefuls, and today the internet has gained increased significance with regard to this issue.
Naturally, the evolution and development of media is a central component to American elections. In 1960, the first ever presidential debate was broadcasted on television. Its significance was enormous and ultimately swayed the election in Kennedy’s favor. Nowadays, social media is consistently gaining in relevance and contribute to the rapid spread of political messages.
The most decisive factor in the contest for the presidency is and remains, of course, the electorate. In 1960, Kennedy was performing a tightrope walk by attempting to win over the black community, while at the same time appeasing the traditionally conservative electorate in the South. Presently, Hillary Clinton is seen as the champion of female voters and Hispanics. Trump, on the other hand, claims to be the front-runner for conservative, middle-class Americans.
After the first presidential debate in 2016, FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) ran the headline »TV debates: learning from Kennedy is learning to win.«
June 17 – October 16, 2016
»Not to be a housewife« a young graduate of the prestigious Miss Porter's School for girls noted down in the yearbook of 1947 regarding her plans for the future. Her name was Jacqueline Lee
Bouvier–First Lady to-be.
About ten years later, her resolution became a realistic opportunity for many women. Inspired by the Civil Rights Movement, which had originated in the 1950s, women began to unite in the United States and Europe in order to demand social equality.
The special exhibition »DECADES OF CHANGE – Iconic Women of the 60s and 70s« shows this development based on 60 portraits of female icons of these decades from the photo collection of CAMERA WORK AG.
The exhibition shows portraits of pioneers of women's rights like Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn, Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, or Angela Davis. Furthermore, it examines how the public images of women such as Romy Schneider, Jackie Kennedy, or Grace Kelly significantly changed those days. In addition, it shows women like Jane Birkin, Veruschka, Uschi Obermaier, Bianca Jagger, or Twiggy who became famous first. They represented the new faces of their time and became icons of Swinging London and the '68 generation.
Photos by artists and photographers such as Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Horst P. Horst, Elliott Erwitt, Jeanloup Sieff, Steve Schapiro, Charlotte March, Brian Duffy, Will McBride, Robert Lebeck, or Thomas Billhardt visualized these changing times in the U.S. and Europe.
»MY PONY MACARONI«
A Horse at the White House and further Animal Stories
December 17, 2015 until June 8, 2016
When asked about life in the U.S. capital, President Harry S. Truman allegedly once cynically answered: »If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog!« Indeed, almost all of his successors have
followed this advice.
Just in time for the beginning of the holiday season the new special exhibition »My Pony Macaroni«–also for families and pet lovers–opens its doors at the Museum THE KENNEDYS. Spanning more than a century of the history of photography, it gives an insight into historical background, funny anecdotes, and interesting facts regarding the relationship between mankind and animal that has developed over centuries.
Over 70 photos–many of them valuable vintage prints–from 30 eminent photographers such as Elliott Erwitt, Richard Avedon, Steve Schapiro, Mark Shaw, Edward Steichen, and Martin Schoeller feature the Kennedys as well as artists like Robert Frank, James Dean, Drew Barrymore, Jay-Z, Truman Capote, Marlon Brando, Pete Doherty, Jeremy Irons, and Mike Tyson along with their animal friends.
The exhibition focuses especially on the staging of mankind and animal in the history of photography and society, the long tradition of First Pets at the White House, and furthermore on the spectacular zoo of the Kennedys, home to two pet celebrities: Caroline Kennedy's pony Macaroni and the dog Pushinka–a present from Nikita Khrushchev and the offspring of the world-famous dog Strelka, who was sent into outer space.
The exhibition is complemented with numerous magazines from the 1960s, which emphasize how the image of the Kennedys as an idealized family was completed by dogs, cats, and a little pony.