Middlebury

Library hosts photo exhibit of American presidents November 4-25

October 16, 2008

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ? "The American President," an exhibit of more than 80 compelling news photos from the Associated Press (AP) spanning the past 60 years, will be on view at the Middlebury College Library from Tuesday, Nov. 4, to Tuesday, Nov. 25. The display shows American presidents at war and at ease, in victory and in defeat, confronting national crises and facing personal scandals, running for office and leading the country on the world stage.

Amid the extraordinary voter interest in the 2008 race for the White House, the new exhibit helps illustrate one constant in the ever-shifting media landscape. The coverage of the White House by AP reporters and photographers has been the dominant source of presidential news across the United States and around the world.

"We're especially pleased to host the AP's American President exhibit at this time, since it coincides with one of the most important national elections in recent memory. These photos of our past presidents capture the human side of those who have served, not just the formal face of the presidency. As with all of our work in the library, we hope the exhibit will encourage not only reflection, but also action,' said Dean of Library and Information Services Michael Roy. 

The exhibit features a number of the AP's Pulitzer Prize-winning images, including Paul Vathis' view of John F. Kennedy conferring gravely with his predecessor, Dwight D. Eisenhower, at Camp David after the unsuccessful Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961; Ron Edmonds' rapid sequence documenting the 1981 assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan; and White House photos taken during Bill Clinton's 1998 impeachment battle. "The American President" also includes memorable shots from the AP Images photo library, which contains more than 10 million film and digital images, and pictures taken in this year's run for the White House by Senators Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Barack Obama.

According to exhibit organizers, the college will be hosting the full photo exhibit with the 16 panels as well as a looping video on a monitor. In order to include the two presidents who were born in Vermont, the college library organizers are preparing two additional panels with photos of Calvin Coolidge and Chester A. Arthur to augment the display.

For more information on the Middlebury exhibit, contact Middlebury College Preservation and Processing Manager Joseph Watson at 802-443-5487 or jwatson@middlebury.edu. Exhibit hours will coincide with library hours, available online. For more information on the AP exhibit, visit http://www.ap.org/americanpresident/.