Portraits O-S

Jacqueline Onassis

This is one of my most popular portraits and dates from 1979. Jackie (yes I called her that) was the first editor on the book Berenice Abbott and I were doing together. She came down to my studio on a workday afternoon to discuss the book and after we’d sorted pictures for a couple of hours she saw an old Atget book on a table. She was a big fan of Atget and asked if she could borrow it. I said, “Of course, if you’ll let me take a picture of you holding it.” She thought that was a pretty good trade so we headed downstairs to the studio room where the Deardorff was always set up underneath a large skylight. I only made three exposures; this was the second, about a second at f8. She didn’t wiggle and it came out OK. It is possibly the only posed large format photograph of the most paparazzied woman of the 20th Century that was made after the assassination of her husband. She returned the book a month or so later.