CLIENT George W. Bush Presidential Center
LOCATION Dallas, TX
Our second exhibit for the George W. Bush Presidential center explores how presidents have used retreats—whether to escape the stress of the job and the confines of the capital, to work without distraction, or to build the critical person-to-person 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 in Kennebunkport, Maine, and Prairie Chapel Ranch, a quiet Texas home to George and Laura Bush.
Modeled on the tourism brochures of the 1930s and 40s, the exhibit balances the history of 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 that give character and a sense of place to each site. 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, give each area a unique identity, and capture the distinct environments of each location, from the foot hills of Texas to the Maine coast.