Portraits of Presidents as People

May 12, 2017

In this special edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer takes a tour of a new exhibit at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum that opens this weekend. Museum Director Tom Schwartz gives some insight into American Presidents as people.

The museum has recreated the entrance to the White House so that visitors will enter a new exhibit on a red carpet into the “White House.”  There are life-size color cutouts of four presidents: Washington, Lincoln, Hoover and Trump.  The main gallery has C-SPAN’s American Presidents: Life Portraits exhibit with original oil portraits of each president by artist Chas Fagan and information about each president and first lady as well as administration accomplishments.  As an added feature to C-SPAN’s exhibit and with their permission, they have original artifacts from each of the Presidents. The exhibit is open through the end of October.  Some of the highlights are:

  • -George Washington’s autograph of ownership in two volumes of John Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding
  • -Thomas Jefferson’s inkwell and pen
  • -John Tyler’s gaming table
  • -Abraham Lincoln’s presidential portfolio and presidential seal
  • -Andrew Johnson’s tailor shears and iron
  • -James Garfield’s robe
  • -Theodore Roosevelt’s horse saddle
  • -Portions of Franklin Roosevelt’s stamp collection and magnifying glass
  • -Lyndon Johnson’s presidential phone
  • -George Herbert Walker Bush’s cowboy boots with golf cleats
  • -William Jefferson Clinton’s running shoes
  • -George W. Bush’s autographed baseball cards
  • -Barack Obama’s chess set