Since the birth of our nation, forty-three men have been selected to serve as President of the United States. While their names have been memorized and their accomplishments recited for years, we often forget that these men had the same hopes, fears, loves, dreams and passions that we all share.
Much of our knowledge of these remarkable leaders can be found in letters they sent to their opponents, acquaintances and family members. In these letters, we obtain a glimpse of American history from a truly unique perspective. We are able to see these men as they were. From the compassion of Abraham Lincoln to the playful correspondence of John F. Kennedy, these letters help to humanize the men we have chosen to lead our country.
Booth Western Art Museum has in its collection a one-page, signed letter from each President. The original letters are on exhibit, along with portrait photographs of each president and a variety of presidential memorabilia. Many of the photographs were taken by renowned photographer Yousuf Karsh.
In addition to his Presidential work, Karsh was famous for his photographs of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, scientist Albert Einstein and author Ernest Hemingway. Karsh’s work is represented in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the National Portrait Gallery in London.