Young Jaqueline Bouvier by Irwin D. Hoffman (1901-1989)
oil on canvas
Me and Jackie
Terry Wallace, Wallace Gallery
Jacqueline Lee Bouvier
1947 Miss Porter's school yearbook
On a recent visit to Wallace Gallery in East Hampton, I viewed the lovely painting by Irwin Hoffman of Jaqueline Bouvier Kennedy as a young girl. Her father, "Black Jack" Bouvier had commissioned the work after young Jackie took a bad fall from a horse while riding in East Hampton. Jackie was unconscious for several days. Coincidentally, Jackie ended up giving the painting to her riding instructor, Theresa Schey. The portrait reminded me of a school yearbook photo, so I went google stalking Jackie photos. There are so many! It is incredible that Jacqueline Lee Bouvier was photographed by professional photographers her entire life. I didn't discover a photo that matched the painting, but did ponder the timing of her accident (summer of 1950) and the style of the portrait (young school photo) -- In 1950, Jackie would have been in college. Did her father ask the artist to paint from a photo depicting her as a youngster and not the woman that she had become? If so, she probably viewed the painting as a folly of a doting parent and not something she was particularly fond of herself. It makes perfect sense that this little painting beloved by a father afraid to lose his little girl be passed down to the horsewoman who participated in her upbringing. Jackie was only a year old when her mother first put her on a horse. Wallace Gallery is fortunate to possess this historic artwork until it is ready to be cherished in its next home.
Based on further information, it appears the creation of the painting could be earlier than the 1950 date that I had at my initial writing. A Dan's Papers article lists it as 1948 and an East Hampton Star article attributes the work to High School.
Coincidentally, Jackie's sister, Lee Radziwill recently passed away.
Jackie and Lee, 1955
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