President John F. Kennedy Portrait, Paris

1961, Printed Later
Archival Pigment Photograph

Signed, dated and numbered from edition of 35 on recto.

“The president and first lady visited Europe in the summer of his first year as president. They were greeted with such enthusiasm that the president began to refer to himself as, “the man who accompanied Jackie Kennedy to Paris.” Parisians lined the streets cheering and craning for a glimpse of the president and French President Charles de Gaulle riding in an open car. Honor Guards in their plumed helmets on their stately horses surrounded the procession.

I had been chasing around after the president all day, never able to get a photograph in which I could see his face. After the pomp and circumstance of the parade, they stopped at the grave of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs-Élysées. It had begun to rain. I was trying to climb up a slanted railing to get a better position, but I kept sliding back down. The president kept looking at me as if to say, hurry up you poor soul, I am waiting for you to take the picture. Finally, I got up on the railing. Luckily he was still looking straight at me.” – Harry Benson