Gelatin silver print
Image: 29.6 x 19.8 cm (11 5/8 x 7 13/16 in.); Paper: 29.6 x 19.8 cm (11 5/8 x 7 13/16 in.)
Gift of George Stephanopoulos 2012.323
© Henri Cartier-Bresson
In 1961 and 1962, Cartier-Bresson spent several days photographing Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and his family probably for two assignments: a book on the first 100 days of John F. Kennedy's administration, and "A Touch of Greatness," a British magazine series that gave readers an intimate view of the professional and personal lives of leaders in various fields. In these photographs, Cartier-Bresson presents Kennedy as a hardworking, thoughtful, intelligent, and charismatic leader who is also a devoted, tender family man. Kennedy and his companions seemed oblivious to the photographer's presence but would have been well aware of their duty to help create the image of an ideal civil servant and future politician. Similarly, Cartier-Bresson's magazine assignment was to create an adoring profile, not a piece of investigative journalism.
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