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Presidential Retreats


George W. Bush Presidential Center


Dallas, TX

Our second exhibit for the George W. Bush Presidential center explores how presidents have used retreats—whether to escape the confines of the capital, to work without distraction, or to build the critical relationships at the foundation of diplomacy. While the exhibit gives a nod to each president’s favored getaway, the exhibit’s special focus is on four special places: Camp David, the LBJ Ranch, Walker’s Point, and Prairie Chapel Ranch. Modeled on the tourism brochures of the 1930s and 40s, the exhibit balances the serious work done at retreats with glimpses of presidents simply relaxing. Each section brings together lifesize images of presidents at leisure, family mementos, historic documents, audio soundscapes, archival footage, and personal memories. A key consideration was making effective use of the gallery’s soaring wall height and pre-determined wall configuration. Custom illustrated theatrical wall murals immerse the visitor and capture the distinct environments, from the foot hills of Texas to the Maine coast.

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