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October 01, 2012

A Mark Shaw Exhibit in Berlin

By Erin Schumaker | Art

The Kennedys by Mark Shaw
Mark Shaw, Jackie Kennedy in Ravello, Italy, 1959, © 2012 Mark Shaw / mptvimages.com

The MILA Kunstgalerie in Berlin opened its doors for the first time on September 6 with an exhibit celebrating famed Vogue fashion photographer Mark Shaw called “The Kennedys.” Considered by fashion historians to be the first modern fashion photographer, Shaw breathed life into everyone and everything he captured on film. His iconic photos of celebrities like Pablo Picasso, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly and (of course) the Kennedys graced the covers of Life magazine dozens of times.

The photographer had unprecedented access to JFK, allowing him to document the president and his family in an intimate way that produced photos both glamorous and candid. “Mark Shaw was the master of casual glamour,” says Daniele Mancinetti, the gallery’s creative director. “Prior to [him], fashion photography was stiff and contrived. But Shaw’s photographs, even when posed, have a live quality not previously seen.”

The images in the gallery are hung in order, starting with the most private moments and ending with more official photos—a journey through the Kennedys’ lives through Shaw’s eyes. Among Mancinetti’s favorites is a photo that illustrates a mixture of the public and private—a shot of Jackie Kennedy, wearing a bright red dress while on holiday in Ravello, off the Amalfi Coast, and holding Shaw’s camera. “The color combination of the dress and the sea is definitely a winner,” he says. “The pose is so natural and the composition is just perfect.” Through October 6; Linienstrasse 154; 49-30/4920-6346; milakunst.com.