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Andy Warhol, Nine Jackies, 1964  2002.273
Andy Warhol, Nine Jackies, 1964. Synthetic polymer and silkscreen ink on canvas, 59 1/2 × 48 1/4 in. (151.1 × 122.6 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of The American Contemporary Art Foundation Inc., Leonard A. Lauder, President  2002.273 For Teachers
© 2009 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

about this work

In 1964, Andy Warhol appropriated newspaper photographs of Jacqueline Kennedy for a series of dramatic paintings in which he depicted the moments before and after the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy. The top row of Nine Jackies features a smiling Jackie, the President’s face barely visible to her left. This image stands in juxtaposition to the shot that appears in the painting’s middle row, taken during the ceremony in which Kennedy’s flag-draped coffin was carried to the Capitol, and to the bottom row picture, snapped as a grief-stricken Jackie stood by Lyndon B. Johnson’s side during his swearing-in ceremony. To produce this painting and the others in the series, Warhol photo-mechanically transferred the images of Jackie onto silkscreens, which were then printed onto canvas. The works combine two of his signature themes—celebrities and fatal disasters—yet these closely cropped, voyeuristic newspaper pictures differ from the glossy publicity stills that the artist typically used as the basis for his work. Now embedded in our national consciousness, the images of a bereft widow in the hours and days after her husband’s death reveal emotions that were then rarely seen in public. By using photographs from before and after the event, Warhol created a modern history painting in which the murder of a president is unseen yet tragically present.

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Andy Warhol, Nine Jackies, 1964  2002.273
Andy Warhol, Nine Jackies, 1964  2002.273

look closer

Describe the different expressions shown in each row of images.

How does the woman’s expression change?

Who do you think this woman might be? Why do you think that?

Why do you think the artist wanted to repeat each image three times?

Activities

2002
Andy Warhol, Nine Jackies, 1964  2002.273 For Teachers

Andy Warhol created Nine Jackies after the November 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The work uses three images, each depicted three times, of Kennedy’s wife, Jackie. Taken from Life magazine, the images depict (from top to bottom) Jackie smiling in the limousine before the assassination; her grieving during Kennedy’s funeral; and her stunned expression during the swearing-in ceremony for Lyndon B. Johnson after the President’s death.

Warhol was very interested in how the mass media produced and distributed images. Ask your students to think about a significant event in recent history. What images were used to depict the event? How were these images used in the media? Did the images tell a story or describe a certain emotion?

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