Slain leaders from the 1960s remembered in Kentucky exhibit

Slain leaders from the 1960s remembered in Kentucky exhibit

Posted: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 9:08 pm
By: AP

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Photographer Stanley Tretick is known for his personal, behind-the-scenes shots of the Kennedy family. The Look magazine photographer was so close to the family, a longtime friend said he had to set aside his career for several months after Robert Kennedy was assassinated. Tretick’s relationship with the Kennedys is evident in images of Robert and John F. Kennedy, which are on display in an exhibit through Oct. 5 at the Frazier International History Museum in Louisville. The show, “Bobby, Martin, & John: Once Upon an American Dream,” also features Tretick’s photos of Martin Luther King Jr. The Tretick photographs show the three slain leaders of the 1960s interacting with family, campaigning and making personal appearances. Included in the exhibit is a videotape of King’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” address at the Washington Monument. Tretick took pictures of the Korean War and later was an official White House photographer. Some of his more memorable shots include one of President Kennedy at the Oval Office as his son, John Jr., peers out from underneath the desk. In another photo, the president is swarmed by nieces and nephews while he is driving a golf cart. “The Kennedy family is once again in the public’s mind as the world rallies to support Ted Kennedy during his recent health issues and commemorates the tragic assassination of his brother,” Frazier Museum spokesman Mark Zanni said. He also noted this year was the 40th anniversary of King’s assassination. Zanni said this is the first public display of the Tretick exhibit. “Stanley Tretick’s photo archive offers more than a window on our country’s past,” said Vickie Rehberg of ArtVision, a historical exhibition firm that made the photos available. “We see the names and faces that have helped shape who we are, and who we’ll be, personalities and events that should not be lost in the amnesia of our culture.” Kitty Kelley, a celebrity biographer and the legal representative of Tretick’s archive, said Tretick was at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles with Robert Kennedy on June 5, 1968, when Kennedy was fatally shot. Tretick was in Kennedy’s hotel room when the shooting occurred downstairs in a kitchen, Kelley said. “Stanley told me he was so destroyed that he took a 4-month leave from Look magazine,” said Kelley, who was Tretick’s friend for nearly two decades until his death in 1999. The exhibit has received mixed reviews from museum visitors. James Hollenbeck, a science professor at Indiana University Southeast near Louisville, said he grew up in a household that considered John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy “almost saints.” He said he would have preferred to see more in the exhibit about their contributions to society. Deborah Garrett, a 39-year-old science teacher from Georgetown, Ind., said the photos of President Kennedy with his son showed the president as if he “didn’t have a care in the world.” The exhibit also includes music from the 1960s, including Joan Baez singing “Blowing in the Wind” and Aretha Franklin’s “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman.” Buttons and other souvenirs of campaigns are shown along with memorabilia of the decade, including a 1969 Volkswagen Bug, G.I. Joe dolls and a fallout shelter, reminiscent of Cold War fears of nuclear war. “It is to evoke memories of the wonderful yet turbulent 1960s, which was a critical time in American history,” Zanni said. ——— If you go … FRAZIER INTERNATION-AL HISTORY MUS-EUM: 829 West Main Street, Louisville; http://fraziermuseum.org 502 753-5663. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT Monday through Friday; Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. Adults $9, Children under 14 $6. “Bobby, Martin, & John: Once Upon an American Dream” through Oct. 5. Also “Survivor Jamestown” through Sept. 5. On the net: http://www.StanleyTretick.com Published in The Messenger 7.30.08

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