In honor of the 60th anniversary of the September 12, 1953 wedding of Senator John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum will feature an artist’s unique paper replica of the ivory silk taffeta gown worn by the bride in a special display opening September 12 and running through November 3.
The future President and First Lady were married in Newport, Rhode Island on September 12, 1953, following a two-year courtship. For the occasion, Jacqueline Kennedy wore an ivory silk taffeta gown which required 50 yards of material and took more than two months to make. It was the creation of Ann Lowe, an African-American dress-maker born in Grayton, Alabama, who had designed gowns for the matrons of high society families including the du Pont, Lodge, and Auchincloss families. The Bouvier wedding gown features a portrait neckline and bouffant skirt decorated with interwoven bands of tucking and tiny wax flowers.
In 2004, Marshall Field’s Department Store in Chicago commissioned Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave and her collaborator Rita Brown to create this exact paper replica of Jacqueline Kennedy’s wedding gown. De Borchgrave painted and prepared the paper to mimic the texture and color of the original silk. Brown then folded, glued and stitched the paper into a gown, replicating all of the details of the original: from the pleated bodice to the 24-inch waist to the ruffled florets on the skirt.
Jacqueline Kennedy’s actual wedding gown, part of the Kennedy Library’s permanent collection, is now too fragile for display and was last featured in a 2003 exhibit marking the 50th wedding anniversary. The paper replica, donated to the Kennedy Library by Marshall Field’s, is being displayed at the Library for the first time. It will remain on display through November 3, 2013.
Check out this great Pinterest board dedicated to their wedding!
|JFK Library & Museum|