DescriptionHANK O'NEAL (American, b. 1940)
Jacqueline Onassis, New York, 1979
24 x 20 inches (61.0 x 50.8 cm)
Verso: signed by artist
In 1979, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was working on a book about Berenice Abbott and went to Hank O'Neal's studio in New York to look at prints. Hank was a long-time friend of Abbott's and was also her biographer. Abbott had single-handedly saved Atget's entire photographic archive after he died in Paris in 1928 and brought it back to the United States in 1929. Kennedy had a keen interest in Atget, having already published a book about Atget's gardens. She saw an original copy of the 1930 Atget book on one of O'Neal's bookshelves and asked to borrow it. He told her that she could borrow it if she allowed him to photograph her holding it. This is the only known formal portrait made of Onassis since 1963 the year that her first husband , President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated.
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