John F. Kennedy’s Rocking Chair, ca. 1962

On loan from Waldorf Astoria New York

The JFK Hyannis Museum is honored to be the temporary home of President  Kennedy’s Rocker during the renovation of The Towers of the Waldorf Astoria. In 1962 President Kennedy gave one of his iconic Kennedy Rockers to the Waldorf Astoria to find its pride of place in the presidential suite.

Waldorf Astoria New York, which will celebrate its 90th anniversary on Park Avenue in October, is currently undergoing a restoration that will also deliver a collection of contemporary residences above the legendary hotel known as The Towers of the Waldorf Astoria. When the hotel reopens in 2023, the rocking chair will return as a permanent exhibit in a gallery celebrating the hotel’s rich history.

We know that our visitors from all corners of the world, as well as our local community, will find the Kennedy Rocker to be an exciting and fascinating  addition to our museum.

More About This Exhibit

RFK: Ripple of Hope

Special exhibit commemorates Robert F. Kennedy

The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum is pleased to announce the return of a special exhibit to commemorate the life and legacy of Robert F. Kennedy . The “RFK: Ripple of Hope” exhibit, assembled in collaboration with RFK Human Rights Foundation is on display through 2022.

“The theme ‘Ripple of Hope’ comes from his most famous and powerful speech delivered in Cape Town, South Africa,” said the exhibit curator Rebecca Pierce-Merrick. “It’s a fitting title for our exhibit as well because that’s exactly what his life of public service created – a ripple of hope that continues to reverberate through the generations since his passing.”

This exhibit begins with Robert Kennedy’s early years within the Kennedy family, including rarely seen images of his time on Cape Cod. The focal point of the exhibit however, covers his time serving as the U.S. Attorney General, his election to the U.S. Senate, and culminating with his inspirational presidential campaign, which began on March 16, 1968 and ended with his death on June 6, 1968.

One particularly poignant part of the exhibit highlights an impromptu speech he gave before a large group of distraught onlookers the night Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in April 1968 just weeks after Kennedy announced his bid for the presidency.

The exhibit includes 45 images and excerpts from Robert Kennedy’s speeches that convey the boundless energy he showed on the campaign trail, often with Ethel and his children at his side. “Ripple of Hope” also has very moving eight-minute video narrated by Kathleen Kennedy and Joseph P. Kennedy III.

Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacques Lowe

“Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacques Lowe,” features intimate, behind-the-scenes images of John F. Kennedy, his wife, Jacqueline, and their children, Caroline and John, taken by Kennedy’s personal photographer.

The original negatives of nearly all of the 70 images displayed in “Creating Camelot” were lost forever in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Lowe, who died in May 2001, had stored his negatives of more than 40,000 Kennedy photos in a World Trade Center bank vault.

The only existing images from the lost negatives were on Lowe’s contact sheets and prints, which fortunately had been stored in another New York City facility. The Newseum, working closely with the Lowe estate, digitally restored the images to museum quality for the exhibit.

“Lowe’s photographs helped shape Kennedy’s image in the news media and in the public’s imagination,” “Thanks to his unprecedented access during the presidential campaign, he was able to supply candid and intimate family images to the press, which had never before been used to that extent in politics.”

Lowe was 28 when he met the Kennedys in 1958 and was hired as the family’s personal photographer. Over the next three years, he shot more than 40,000 images of the couple and their children. Lowe’s photos span from Kennedy’s 1958 U.S. Senate re-election campaign through his early years in the White House. The iconic images helped create the legend of the Kennedy presidency that later became known as Camelot. “Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacques Lowe” was developed by the Newseum in collaboration with the Jacques Lowe Estate. The Newseum, headquartered in Washington D.C. promotes, explains and defends free expression and the five freedoms of the First Amendment.
www.newseum.org

JFK at 100: Life and Legacy

John F. Kennedy’s words inspired not only his generation but continue to inspire generations of people around the globe. How did he become a man so committed to public service?  How does his legacy live on? What role did Cape Cod play in shaping his personality? Our special exhibition, JFK at 100: Life & Legacy, strives to answer those questions.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917.  Although he lived only 46 of the past 100 years, he continues to be quoted constantly by world leaders. Thousands of public facilities have been named in his honor. His visions for space travel, civil rights, and nuclear non-proliferation remain a guiding force for how we approach these contemporary topics. JFK at 100: Life & Legacy considers how President Kennedy influenced the full hundred years after his birth – not just the first 46 years he was with us.

We begin by telling John F. Kennedy’s story from childhood through election day, when he was known to family and friends as Jack. We tell our story through a carefully curated collection of photographs, many rarely seen: candids taken by friends and family; studio, magazine and newspaper  photos; stills from television and video. Many of the images include Jack and his friends and family enjoying themselves at the Cape, their refuge from their busy schedules and the place Jack always considered home. We’re including intriguing artifacts from the collection of Robert Luddington, the Kennedys’ interior decorator. Some of these will be seen by the public for the first time.

We’ll continue the journey through President Kennedy’s White House years, including fascinating artifacts from Inauguration Day and stunning photos of Jacqueline Kennedy.  Other photos will give important glimpses into President Kennedy’s life in Hyannis Port, known as the Summer White House.

The Legacy years feature the careers of his brothers Bobby and Ted and his lasting influence on space travel, the Peace Corps, advocacy for children with intellectual disabilities, and of course the Cape Cod National Seashore. Our goal is for visitors to leave with a better sense of Jack Kennedy, the private person, and President John F. Kennedy, influential world leader, and to understand the deep and lasting influence of Cape Cod on the man and his ideas.