Alexandra Jacobs
June 06, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

First Families

Current Status
In Season
Harry Benson
Coffee Table

We gave it a B+

Any First Lady would be pleased to find Harry Benson lurking behind the Blue Room drapes. The Life photographer’s knack for freezing off-center moments (Gerald Ford doing his own dishes) into dignified portraiture has kept him welcome in the White House for more than 30 years. It’s also made his work near ubiquitous in the magazine world, giving First Families less monumental oomph than it might have in, say, 30 more. Benson has nary a harsh word for any presidential family member, but a few sly touches — Jackie O. in one of her scared-rabbit moments near a ski lift; Nancy Reagan hugging a red pillow monogrammed RR — speak for themselves. B+

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