New Arrival

Autograph Letter Signed, "With all affectionate wishes, Jackie," to Berenice Abbott ("Dear Berenice").

New York: c. 1980.

Price: $2,500.00


About the item

One leaf, recto only, on Kennedy Onassis' 1040 Fifth Avenue stationery. Paired with black-and-white print of Yousuf Karsh's July 1957 photographic portrait of Kennedy Onassis; original franked mailing envelope held loosely in sleeve on verso. 8vo. Fine. Matted, glazed, and framed in silver.

Item #368242

Written sometime around 1980, Onassis's letter — penned in blue ink on her personal stationery — expresses to Abbott that, "It made me really sad that our book didn't work out together," but adds she had spoken to the person Abbott had teamed up with, and that "he is going to show it to us when its [sic] done — so maybe we will still have a chance to work together," noting Doubleday could potentially be the distributor if they offered "the right amount." The book in question is Hank O'Neal's Berenice Abbott: American Photographer, which was issued by McGraw-Hill in 1982 and featured Abbott's commentary on every image. Per O'Neal, Onassis was thrilled with the book, even visiting Abbott in Monson, Maine, to discuss particulars, but in the end wasn't happy with the printer that Doubleday was planning on using, and helped them place the book with McGraw-Hill, who would better print the photography in the book.

Onassis concludes the letter with an invitation, saying, "…the next time you come to New York, do call — and you can come for a long visit and take a picture of your girl in the front hall." The girl was possibly Julia Dean, who in her early 20s spent a year apprenticing with Abbott from 1978–79, and initially had been put in contact with the elderly photographer by O'Neal.