Andy Warhol’s Jacqueline Kennedy II 14 presents a double print of a photograph taken of Jackie during her husband, President John F. Kennedy’s funeral. Warhol used the images of Jackie Kennedy, who was iconic in her own right, to create a number of different pieces. In this piece he used purple paper onto which he printed a duplicated image of Jackie in mourning. This piece was based on a photograph that came from the December 6, 1963 edition of Life magazine. The magazine featured images from President John F. Kennedy’s assassination and funeral. This image is a far cry from the happy and smiling first lady the American public knew and loved.
Jacqueline Kennedy II 14 by Andy Warhol as Part of his Larger Body of Work
Jacqueline Kennedy was and continues to be an American icon. By using images lifted straight from Life magazine, Warhol was commenting on media frenzy. Warhol continued later in his career to comment on American society using images of women who were icons of cinema, media or politics. During this time in his career, Warhol was making the shift from commercial illustrator to Pop artist. The Jacqueline Kennedy series has become almost as iconic as the Marilyn images because she represents another side of the American celebrity, which is, in her case, royalty.
Photo credit: Life magazine cover featuring John F. Kennedy’s funeral. Courtesy of the National Museum of American History.