Jackie Kennedy Onassis in Cartoon & Caricature: A First-Time Collection

Wilma Flintstone of the popular cartoon series went shopping in a department store in one 1962 episode – and couldn’t help herself from envying a hat and clothes in the new “Jackie Kennelrock” look. From the time she stepped onto the world stage as the spouse of the Democratic presidential candidate in 1960, the public persona of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy immediately began to solidify, the finer details planed away as she was shaped by the media into a modern-day American Cleopatra. Being unusually young, wearing her brown hair in a bubble-shaped flipped-curled style, and possessing the seemingly rarified backstory of an Eastern seaboard debutante who was college-educated in Paris, dressed in haute couture, went fox-hunting and waterskiing, devoured volumes of history and spoke several languages, it wasn’t long before that persona became a caricature. And while she was compared to a movie star and a form of Yankee royalty, Jackie Kennedy’s formal claim to fame was the unofficial position of First Lady of the United States, always making her ultimately a political figure and thus a subject of interest to editorial cartoonists. And it wasn’t long before the nation’s creators of playing cards, comic books and satirical coloring books soon followed with their own Jackie Kennedy cartoons. Here then, in the first of a series of articles to be published over the next two or so weeks, is a look at how, half a century ago, the nation awoke to its coffee and opened its newspapers, and had a chuckle about the latest take on what “that girl” (as her predecessor Mamie Eisenhower called her) in the White House was doing for the Administration. The caricaturing of this First Lady did not end with the 1963 death of her President. As she went on into widowhood, and then a controversial second marriage, a second widowhood and then a busy professional and social life in New York City until her 1994 death, every move by Jackie Kennedy Onassis was captured by the pointed pen of social satirists. There is a total here of some 42 cartoons and caricatures of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the first such curated collection. Most of the cartoons from the early 1960s have not been seen publicly since being initially published during the Kennedy Administration. Initially, the media cast her, as it largely still does, by her clothes. Specifically, the cost of her trademark fashions. During a presidential campaign,

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Categories: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, The Kennedys

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