Top left: Tomiko Fraser. Top right: John Galliano. Above
left: Oleg Cassini. Above right: Stella McCartney and new best
pal Gwyneth Paltrow (in Calvin Klein, fall 2001). Below left: CFDA
president Stan Herman with legendary designer Pauline Trigere. Below
right: Valentino and Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece in Valentino.
Above left: Handbag and accessories designer Kate Spade with
her husband. Above right: Academy Award-nominated actress Joan
Allen (Nixon, The Contender) and Michael Kors. Below left:
Carolina Herrera. Below right: Kimora Lee Simons and Russell Simmons
Above left: International DJ and recording artist Moby. Above:
Blaine and Robert Trump. Left: Artist Anh Duong. Below left:
Actress Ellen Barkin and husband Ronald Perelman. Below right:
Actress Sigourney Weaver in a Dior camouflage gown.
February 20 Mezzo-soprano Grace Bumbry performs at the White
House after a dinner for the Vice President, Speaker and Chief Justice.
March 11 Mrs Kennedy has a private audience with Pope John
March 12 President Jawaharlal Nehru of India welcomes Mrs
Kennedy and her sister, Princess Radziwill.
March 21 Mrs Kennedy and Princess Radziwill arrive in Pakistan.
President Khan presents Mrs Kennedy with a bay gelding.
March 26 Mrs Kennedy arrives in London for a three-day stop,
during which she lunches with the Queen.
May 8 Mrs Kennedy launches the USS Lafayette.
May 11 André Malraux, the French minister of cultural affairs, is honoured at a White House dinner.
June 29 President and Mrs Kennedy arrive in Mexico for a two-day official visit.
September 11 Mrs Kennedy unveils Edward Durell Stone's model for the National Cultural Center.
September 28 President Kennedy orders the military to enforce a court order to enrol James Meredith as the first African-American student at the University of Mississippi.
November 15 The Kennedys host a private White House tour
for the Bolshoi Ballet.
November 30 A film of the First Lady's visit to India and
Pakistan is released.
January 8 The Mona Lisa exhibited at the National Gallery
of Art after France loaned it to President Kennedy personally.
April 15 Mrs Kennedy cancels all official engagements until
after the birth of her third child.
June 10 President Kennedy proposes a strategy of peace between
the USA and the USSR. He signs the Equal Pay Act.
June 11 National Guard mobilized to enforce admission of
African-American students at the University of Alabama.
June 24 President Kennedy visits Berlin, addressing the crowd,
'Ich bin ein Berliner.'
August 28 Martin Luther King Jr gives his 'I have a dream'
speech. He meets with President Kennedy in the Oval Office.
October 10 President Kennedy signs the Limited Nuclear Test
November 1 Christmas cards designed by the First Lady go
November 13 President and Mrs Kennedy join 1,700 children
on the south lawn for a performance by the Pipes and Drums of the
Black Watch of the British Army.
November 21 President and Mrs Kennedy depart for a tour of
November 22 President Kennedy is assassinated.
November 25 At President Kennedy's burial, Mrs Kennedy lights
the eternal flame.
Source: Metropolitan Museum programme
Other pieces of historical note include the imperial
dress and opera coat worn to the President de Gaulle’s state dinner at
the Palace of Versailles and the beaded gown she wore to the dinner in
Vienna attended by the then-Soviet leader Nikita Krushchev.
This annual exhibition, normally shown in the Costume,
will be presented in the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall on
the second floor of the museum.
The Museum’s Costume Institute Benefit Gala was moved
from its traditional December date to Monday, April 23, 2001, with Caroline
Kennedy Schlossberg, president of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation,
and her husband Edwin A. Schlossberg serving as Honorary Chairs of the
Gala. Co-chairs were Anna Wintour , editor-in-chief of American Vogue;
Lindsey Owen-Jones, Chairman and Chief Executive officer of L’Oréal
SA and his wife Christina; Oscar and Annette de
la Renta; and Carolina Herrera. The corporate chairs for the event were
Guy Peyrelongue, President and Chief Executive Officer of L’Oréal
USA and his wife Lucile.
The evening consisted of a pre-dinner reception, gala
dinner and a Dessert Reception and Dance afterwards. The guest list was
truly eclectic, starting with First Lady Laura Bush, New York State Junior
Senator (and former First Lady) Hillary Rodham Clinton (in Oscar de la
Renta). Other guests include a large contingence of Kennedy family members,
Manolo Blahnik, potential New York City mayoral candidate Michael Bloomberg,
architect Richard Meier, comedienne Joan Rivers, Diane Sawyer, Martha
Stewart, André Léon Talley, socialite Anne Bass, interior designer Mario
Buatta, and various members of the Estée Lauder family.
The fashion world was well represented by such illuminaries
such as Giorgio Armani, John Bartlett, Kate Spade, Calvin Klein, Dolce
& Gabbana, Jean-Paul Gaultier, John Galliano, Hedi Slimane, Tommy
Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Anna Sui, Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan, Gisèle Bündchen,
Christian Louboutin, Bob Mackie, Narciso Rodriguez, Vera Wang, Diane Von
Furstenburg, the CFDA’s Stan Herman; Seventh on
Sixth’s Fern Mallis, and of course, the Queen Bee of them all, Anna Wintour.
Of the exhibition itself, I commend Mr Bowles for his
mastery in bringing together this project so well. It was as seamless
a job that one could have expected from the Metropolitan Museum of Art
and its staff.
For the most part, I didn’t exactly learn anything new
about Mrs. Kennedy from this exhibition. So much about her life (and the
lives of the other members of her expansive family) is already so known
that it exudes a certain amount of sterility. At least initially.
This exhibition doesn’t exactly invite the viewer into
Mrs Kennedy’s world as much as it serves to give the viewer a carefully
calculated look into what was clearly an extraordinary woman. The surprises
came when I least expected them. Upon entering one of the inter-connecting
galleries, I heard a distinctly cultured voice that managed—without shouting—to
rise all others. It was Mrs Kennedy’s voice coming from a plasma screen
television affixed to the wall in a video of that famous televised White
House tour. It was very much a shock because while so much is known of
her, she didn’t say much in public. Thus, hearing her voice gave the exhibition
some added weight. Another surprise was reading samples of the letters
she wrote during the White House Years. She was a cultured woman in every
area of her life; and although the writing samples consisted of mostly
thank-you letters, they did gave us an unexpected look into her life.
Phillip D. Johnson
Kennedy: the White House Years—Selections from the John F. Kennedy Library
was sponsored by L’Oréal USA
and Condé Nast Publications.
The 208 pp. book, Jacqueline Kennedy: the White House Years—Selections
from the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, includes more than 150
full-colour and black-and-white illustrations and is available in hardcover
through Bullfinch Press. It is also available in paperback in the Museum’s
bookshops, online at www.metmuseum.org
or by calling 1 212 535-7710.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the Met will offer
a roster of public programmes. A screening of the landmark television
broadcast A Tour of the White House with Mrs John F.
Kennedy—first shown on Valentine’s Day, 1962—will take place on May
11, 2001, with an introduction by Perry Wolff, who produced the programme
for CBS News. Author and White House curator Betty C. Monkman will speak
on ‘The White House’ on June 1. For more information on these 6 p.m. programmes,
call 1 212 570-3949. A 30-minute documentary film, Jacqueline Kennedy’s
Asian Tour, also from 1962, will be screened on May 26 in the Uris
Center Auditorium. The screening is free to the public on a first-come,
Phillip D. Johnson is features' editor of Lucire.