JFK exhibit honors photographer

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John F. Kennedy waves to the crowd as he leaves Cobo Hall in Detroit following his speech to the VFW National Convention on Aug. 26, 1960.

John F. Kennedy waves to the crowd as he leaves Cobo Hall in Detroit following his speech to the VFW National Convention on Aug. 26, 1960.

A photographic retrospective of John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign, featuring photos by the late Detroit Free Press chief photographer and Pulitzer Prize-winner Tony Spina, will be on display during November at the Y Arts Detroit gallery in downtown Detroit’s Boll Family YMCA.

In an era of photo ops and press conferences, where politicians expertly shape their public images, it can be hard to appreciate the access Spina had to the young candidate. The candid moments and excitement he captured — from the early days of the primary campaign through Kennedy’s inauguration — exemplify the photographer’s unique ability to capture history.

The exhibit, “He Was the President: John F. Kennedy 1960-61,” opens with a free public reception from 6-8 p.m Friday. Regular hours: 5:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 1401 Broadway, Detroit. 313-309-9622.

Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press

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