MRS. KENNEDY GOES ABROAD
The moment I found Mrs. Kennedy Goes Abroad in Paul’s collection, I was instantly drawn to it. Years have gone by and I repeatedly return to it to admire the colorful and pattern-filled watercolor paintings by Jacqueline Duheme. Duheme began her career as an assistant to Henri Matisse and later became an illustrator-reporter for Elle magazine in Paris where the opportunity arose to illustrate this gem, depicting the Kennedy’s state trip.. This book illustrates through her paintings (which were later requested by and gifted to the Kennedys) Jaqueline Kennedy’s visits to France, Rome, India, Pakistan and London in the early part of her husband’s presidency.
Every time I flip through the book, I notice some new set of details that I hadn’t picked up on before. I love the flatness in each painting that evoke the feeling of snapshot photos. The stacked perspective create these magnificent cross-section views of layered landscapes with unnatural proportions and barely an inch of negative space. Intricate patterns, architecture and interior elements densly fill the picture plane with every color imaginable. And in each painting, Jackie sits, stands, floats, with grace among the people and places in her famed wardrobe.
The book designer noted is Jennifer Wagner. The text is beautifully typeset with a traditional serif and a fun, curly script (a Curlz ancestor possibly?) titles each story. The layouts are clean and simple adorned with Duhemen’s original sketches and photographic snapshots throughout adding the finishing touches to the narratives.