By Steve Brawley
Senator and Mrs. Kennedy's newlywed digs were a rented apartment at 3321 Dent Place NW in Washington, DC.
They only resided here for five months in 1953-54. When the gardener’s first invoice arrived, Jack refused to pay
what he thought was an exorbitant sum. Jackie then took up taking care of the
gardening. The little garden out back would also be a refuge for JFK, where he often spent time painting.
Jackie got into trouble by doing some redecorating of the place, even painting some furniture. Jackie took classes at Georgetown University while they lived here.
The book Camelot at Dawn is a collection of photographs of the young
couple’s time in this Georgetown townhouse, nicknamed The Red House. The famous pictures of Jackie lighting candles for a dinner party were taken at Dent Place.
In May of 1954, Orlando Suero, a photographer with the Three Lions Picture
Agency on his first major assignment, spent five days with the Kennedys. He
enjoyed their full cooperation and the intimate access that would later, as
Jacqueline became more anxious about her family's privacy, be denied to all but
In more than twenty photo sessions, Suero documented a typical week in the
young couple's life: Jack at his Senate office, catching up on work at home, and
painting in the back garden; Jackie attending classes at Georgetown, gardening,
and preparing for an evening of dinner and dancing; and the couple reading the
morning papers around the breakfast table, looking through their wedding photos,
hosting both casual and formal dinner parties, and tossing the football around
with neighbors Bobby and Ethel Kennedy.
Suero'sphotographs capture the idyllic quality of the young couple's lives
during their months in Georgetown. Not yet hounded by the media, John and
Jacqueline in these images seem happier and more at ease than they would ever be
again. Surprisingly, no magazine ever published Suero's complete photo essay.
McCall's ran a few of his photographs that fall, but most of them have not been
seen until now. In 1989, Three Lions Picture Agency owner Max Lowenherz donated
the photographs to the Johns Hopkins University's Peabody Institute. For Camelot
at Dawn, the Peabody Institute's Anne Garside has selected nearly one hundred of
the most evocative and affecting pictures Suero took during his week in
Georgetown. This remarkable document of John and Jacqueline Kennedy's first year
of marriage recalls the romance and the promise embodied by their life together
in America's last age of innocence.
The Kennedy's would live in several houses in the Georgetown area during the early years of their marriage.