“Portraits of the Presidents from the National Portrait Gallery” to Open at the Jimmy Carter Library & Museum

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Celebrated collection is in Atlanta for the first time

ATLANTA -- The most famous collection in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery—the presidential portraits—will be on display at the Jimmy Carter Library & Museum beginning on February 15, 2003. “Portraits of the Presidents from the National Portrait Gallery” features 60 paintings, sculptures, photographs and other renderings, depicting all 41 U.S. presidents from George Washington to Bill Clinton. The exhibit is touring the country for the first time and will be on display at the museum until May 11.

Visitors to the “Portraits of the Presidents” exhibit will also have the opportunity to view the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize gold medal awarded to former President Carter, which is also on display.

“This extraordinary exhibit gives us the opportunity to experience one of our nation’s most important art and historical collections,” said Jay Hakes, Director of the Jimmy Carter Library & Museum. “It is one of Atlanta’s most prestigious exhibits of the year.”

The traveling exhibition is part of “Portrait of a Nation,” an initiative in which four major National Portrait Gallery exhibitions are traveling nationally and internationally. The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC is currently closed to the public because of major renovation work. It will re-open in a revamped Patent Office Building in 2006.

“Over the past two years we’ve seen ‘Portraits of the Presidents’ bring the presidency to life,” said Marc Pachter, Director of the National Portrait Gallery. “In a very real way, we are telling the country the stories of its leaders.”

Among the richly diverse images on display are:

·    Rembrandt Peale’s “porthole” portrait of George Washington

·    Thomas Jefferson’s portrait done for John Adams as a token of their friendship

·    A depiction of Zachary Taylor used to promote his presidential candidacy

·    One of the last photographic images of Abraham Lincoln by Alexander Gardner

·    A Matthew Brady Daguerreotype of Martin Van Buren

·    Norman Rockwell’s portrait of Richard Nixon’s "troublesomely elusive face"

·    Photographer George Tames’s famous silhouetted Oval Office image of John Kennedy

·    Chuck Close’s oversized iris print of Bill Clinton

Each image has its own interesting story and sheds light on the traditions and challenges of presidential portraiture.

“Many of these portraits—Jefferson as minister to France, FDR at the end of his presidency— are linked to historical moments,” says Exhibition Curator and National Portrait Gallery Senior Historian Fredrick Voss. “One of the main things I hope visitors gain from this exhibition is a lively sense of these moments and the personalities behind them.”

Georgia Natural Gas, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Cox Enterprises are sponsoring the “Portraits of the Presidents” exhibition at the Carter Presidential Library.

The Jimmy Carter Library, one of ten Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration, is located at 441 Freedom Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30307. The Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 4:45 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, please call 404-331-0296. Exhibition visuals may be found under “Events Calendar” on the Library website, http://www.jimmycarterlibrary.org.

ADMISSION: $7.00 - Adults; $5.00 - Seniors (60+), Military, and students with IDs;

Free - Children (16 and under)

Press Previews. A press preview of the portraits will be held on Thursday, February 13, 2003 at 10:00 am. All media representatives are welcomed.

Contact Information:

Randy Lewis

Fitzpatrick & Lewis Public Relations

1117 Perimeter Center West

Suite 500 E

Atlanta, Georgia 30338




Jimmy Carter Library and Museum

441 Freedom Parkway

Atlanta, GA 30307-1498

Web site: http://www.jimmycarterlibrary.org
Telephone: 404/331-3942

Fax: 404/730-2215

E-mail: carter.library@nara.gov

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