Jacqueline Kennedy III (FS II.15) by Andy Warhol
Title: Jacqueline Kennedy III (FS II.15)
Medium: Screenprint on paper
Size: 40” x 30”
Edition: 200, 50 numbered in Roman numerals, signed with a rubber stamp and numbered in pencil on verso. Published in the portfolio 11 Pop Artists III, containing works by eleven artists.
Jacqueline Kennedy III print features four different images of Jacqueline Kennedy surrounding the death of her husband, President John F. Kennedy. These images also came from the December 6, 1963 issue of Life magazine, by the photographer Fred Ward. The same eleven artists were featured in each of the different versions of the 11 Pop Artists portfolio. In this print, Warhol still uses the stock images from the magazine, with simple black ink, however it is printed on blue paper. The images chosen depict Jackie in a variety of emotions, all of which the American public most likely shared during this time.
Andy Warhol chose to crop the source images found in Life magazine so that the only focus was on Jacqueline Kennedy. This is a common theme found throughout his works. Andy Warhol did not like how the media handled the death of JFK and these images of Jacqueline Kennedy were his response to the media blitz. Warhol once said that “…it didn’t bother me much that he was dead, what bothered me was the way television and radio were programming everybody to feel so sad.” By cropping the images and zooming in on Jackie’s face, he is bringing to attention to both her grief and courage. Jacqueline Kennedy continues to be considered American royalty and her image is very iconic, especially by Warhol. While Warhol had used publicity and news-service photos prior to this series, the Jacqueline Kennedy pieces are the portraits where he used images pulled directly from the newspaper or magazines.