"FOR C.S. FROM M.S. JANUARY 23, 1963": RARE ALBUM OF KENNEDY PHOTOGRAPHS BY CAMELOT PHOTOGRAPHER MARK SHAW, BELIEVED TO BE ONE OF ONLY A FEW COPIES PRODUCED, THE COPY OF KENNEDY AIDE CHARLES SPALDING WITH A GILT-STAMPED PRESENTATION INSCRIPTION FROM MARK SHAW TO SPALDING ON BINDING
[SHAW, Mark]. That Palm Beach 50. No place: No publisher, 1963. Small, square quarto, full gilt-stamped brown calf, marbled endpapers; ll. 14. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $8500.
Rare Kennedy photograph album, one of only a few known copies produced by White House photographer Mark Shaw, specially bound in brown calf-gilt with a presentation stamped in gilt on the front board: "For C.S. [Kennedy aide Charles Spalding] from M.S. [Mark Shaw]. January 23, 1963."
This album is evidently one of just a few examples produced. The photographs inside were taken by White House photographer Mark Shaw, known for his candid-style photographs of the Kennedy family. The photographs depict the famous Kennedy hike in Florida in 1963 and its participants including JFK, Jackie Kennedy, Prince "Stash" Radziwill (JFK's college roommate and Jackie's brother-in-law), Kennedy aide Charles "Chuck" Spalding, and White House doctor Max Jacobson. The hike was conceived as a photo op in which JFK could emphasize the importance of physical fitness and health to a national audience. According to the JFK Library, Kennedy was inspired by a military order that instructed U.S. Marine officers to finish a 50-mile walk or hike in 20 hours. The president was immediately taken with the idea. When he tried to sell the idea to his staff and aides, some rejected the idea outright and refused to participate. JFK's brother, Robert, made the trek himself, wearing dress shoes in the winter snow. JFK, however, would not be dissuaded. JFK, Jackie, Radziwill, Spalding, Jacobson, Secret Service agent Clint Hill, and, of course, photographer Mark Shaw met at Palm Beach in January of 1963 to begin the trek. Members of the Kennedy family and some of their friends drove by several times, amused that the group had clearly overextended themselves. Despite aches and blisters, the walkers persevered and completed their mission. This album was compiled to commemorate the adventure. Jackie Kennedy is present in five pictures (usually in the background) and John Kennedy is present in four pictures. This particular album bears a gilt-stamped presentation from Shaw to Spalding on the front board. Clint Hill, the Secret Service agent, mentions receiving a similar album on his personal website, suggesting that copies may have been given to participants in the walk. The photographs included here are quite rare. None of them are noted in the Mark Shaw Archive, though at least one appears to have been used in Shaw's bestselling photobook, The John F Kennedys. The recipient of this copy was Kennedy aide Charles "Chuck" Spalding. Heir to a meatpacking fortune, Spalding was raised among the mid-century elite, attending the Hill School before going onto Yale and service in the Navy during World War II. Spalding was introduced to JFK by his Yale roommate. They quickly became close friends, with Spalding even serving as an usher at Kennedy's wedding. Later, Spalding performed important work on the Kennedy presidential campaign in Illinois and West Virginia, earning himself a spot as a valued aide in the Kennedy Administration. After JFK's assassination, Spalding remained friends with RFK and worked on his California presidential campaign until he, too, was assassinated. Spalding subsequently left politics and went on to a career in screenwriting and then investment banking. Laid-in invitation to Spalding's 70th birthday party.
Interior generally fine, a bit of wear to binding, gilt bright. An extremely good copy.