February 14 through June 7, 2015 – Special Exhibition Gallery

Bush family - Draper Reagan in Cowboy Hat - Evans Obama mirror - Souza

What is it like to be the chief White House photographer for the President? Go behind the lens to experience the world of the chief White House photographer – eleven in all, since 1961 – who are both visual historians and key links between the American public and the President. Booth Western Art Museum is excited to partner with National Geographic to present The President’s Photographer: Fifty Years Inside the Oval Office, February 14 through June 7, 2015 in the Special Exhibition Gallery. This exhibit includes rarely seen images from the Kennedy years through the Obama Administration along with pieces of the late Pulitzer Prize nominee Michael A. W. Evans, Presidential photographer for Ronald Reagan.

For 50 years, the President’s photographer has been providing a rare glimpse inside the White House and the day-to-day life of the President. Their job is two-fold: photographing the president greeting dignitaries, visitors and guests; and documenting every aspect of the presidency, including official events, backstage happenings and private moments. These iconic images of events, from Kennedy’s assassination to 9/11 and beyond, have become historic pieces of American culture and a visual tool for archiving the events of a presidency.

National Geographic’s exhibition features 51 selected photographs representing the work of Cecil Stoughton (John F. Kennedy), Yoichi Okamoto (Lyndon B. Johnson), Ollie F. Atkins (Richard Nixon), David Hume Kennerly (Gerald Ford), Michael A. W. Evans (Ronald Reagan), David Valdez (George H.W. Bush), Robert McNeely (Bill Clinton), Sharon Farmer (Bill Clinton), Jack Kightlinger (Bill Clinton), Eric Draper (George W. Bush), and Pete Souza (Barack Obama). In addition to these images, Booth Museum is featuring 36 photographs from a private collection in Atlanta of Michael Evans work as Reagan’s photographer.

The exhibition is based on the National Geographic book and the National Geographic Television Special The President’s Photographer: 50 Years Inside the Oval Office. The photographs were assembled by three-time Emmy Award-winner and National Geographic Television Executive Producer John Bredar, who is also the author of the book. The book is available for purchase in the Booth Museum Store.

The President’s Photographer: 50 Years Inside the Oval Office will compliment Booth Museum’s permanent collection of Presidential portraits and letters in the Carolyn & James Millar Presidential Gallery. “The Millar Presidential Gallery is one of the most popular spaces in the Booth Museum, indicating a strong public interest in Presidential history and photography” says Booth Museum Executive Director Seth Hopkins. “With that in mind, we are excited to bring The President’s Photographer exhibition, organized by National Geographic, to the Booth.  Since the exhibit opens just a couple days before President’s Day, we thought it would be important to be open for all to enjoy on the holiday.”

In conjunction with the exhibition Booth Museum has special programing scheduled in March and April. On Wednesday, March 4 at 12:15 pm in the Booth Ballroom, members and guests are invited to Art for Lunch: Researching The President’s Photographer. Join Booth Museum Executive Director Seth Hopkins, as he discusses the exhibit, The President’s Photographer: Fifty Years inside the Oval Office. Hear humorous stories from behind the scenes and learn about the research methods he used for obtaining additional information on the photographs in the exhibition. Lunch will be available for purchase.

On March 21 at 2:00 pm in Bergman Theatre, Booth Museum will host a Special Lecture and Book Signing with Photographer David Valdez. He will describe his experiences as personal White House photographer to President George H. W. Bush.

On April 4 at 2:00 pm in Bergman Theatre, Booth Museum will host the second Special Lecture and Book Signing with Photographer Bob McNeely. He will describe his experiences as personal White House photographer to President Bill Clinton.

On April 12 at 2:00 pm in Bergman Theatre, Booth Museum will host a third Special Lecture and Book Signing with Photographer Eric Draper. He will describe his experiences as personal White House photographer to President George W. Bush.

On Thursday, April 16 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm join us for the official opening of The President’s Photographer: Fifty Years Inside the Oval Office. At 5:00 pm, refreshments will be available in the Atrium and at 7:00 pm in Bergman Theatre hear members of Michael Evans’ family discuss his work as personal photographer for Ronald Reagan during his first term as President.

For more information on National Geographic, click here.

For more images from The President’s Photographer: Fifty Years Inside the Oval Office, click here.

The President’s Photographer: Fifty Years Inside the Oval Office is sponsored in part by:

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