Photographic exhibit: The legendary work of Mark Shaw


BRATTLEBORO >> Stroll the halls of the Dianich Gallery in downtown Brattleboro and see the story of Camelot unfold through the lenses of Mark Shaw in an exhibit, the likes of which has not been seen in Brattleboro since 2002. It just so happens that curator and gallery owner Catherine Dianich Gruver is a neighbor of Mark Shaw's son, David Shaw and his wife Juliet Cuming in Dummerston. Juliet Cuming is the Director of the Mark Shaw Photographic Archive. Dianich said, "It is an incredible honor to be able to have these photos."

Candid moments are captured of JFK as a father and husband, of Jackie as a mom, and of the children Caroline and John, Jr. in their residences in Hyannis Port,Mass., Georgetown, D.C. and the White House, giving this American royal family humanity and normalcy. Shaw's photos range from the ocean to the White House, representing a feeling of optimism that still speaks to people today. A few on the gallery walls have never been seen in an exhibit before, while others are iconic and known worldwide. Of particular interest is a posed photograph of JFK and Jackie in the White House taken at the time of the Bay of Pigs disaster that gives little clue to the seriousness of the day and never used. Also of interest is one of JFK's personal favorite of himself walking along the dunes of Hyannis Port — a photograph that has become one of the most enduring and famous of Mark Shaw's photos — and several of their Georgetown three-story red brick home. Two of the photos in the Brattleboro show are vintage — prints that were made the same time as the negative, the rest are limited editions of exhibition prints.

Shaw's photos are legendary and renowned, part of an immense portfolio specializing in celebrities, fashion designers, and top models. A few other pieces of Shaw's work with celebrities like Audrey Hepburn and others are also included in this gallery's show. But it was his work with the Paris Couture collections that drew Jackie's admiration. Life magazine had chosen Shaw to photograph Jackie and then-Senator Kennedy in '59, after which he remained their personal photographer until JFK's death in 1963. Jackie had immense trust in him, allowing him access to intimate shots. Dianich said, "For me, I feel some are very formal — some are of documentary tradition, but they are all intimate slices of their life. They are spontaneous, human, and represent a sense of idealism when optimism is prevalent."

For Dianich, this exhibit touches her deeply. "I first met JFK when I was just a child. We had heard that he was doing a dedication of a highway in Newark, Delaware. We walked around four miles to see him — it was a complete thrill. A few weeks later he was assassinated, making it more indelibly marked as an experience for me."

This is a chance to own a piece of history and Camelot. A limited number of Mark Shaw Black and White Vintage Silver Gelatin Photographs are available for purchase, as are the two vintage prints at the gallery. Mark Shaw Prints are offered in signed and authenticated editions of 30, with a few exceptions, some images are available only in an edition of 15. Prices are available upon request. Dianich already has her eyes on favorite print to purchase. The 2012's publication of "The Kennedys," a coffee table photo-journal of Shaw's Kennedy collection that has a number of the photographs in the exhibit in it will be on sale also.

The official opening of the exhibit will take place during Gallery Walk on Friday, Oct. 7, open from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The photographs will remain on the wall until the end of December. Other than gallery walk, hours are by appointment. The Dianich Gallery is located in the Hooker-Dunham Building at 139 Main St., Brattleboro. Walk down the alleyway, then walk through the glass doors to the gallery. To make an appointment or for more information call 802-380-1607 or email Visit for more information about the gallery.

Contact Cicely M. Eastman at 802-254-2311 ext. 261.


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