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  • George W. Bush Presidential Center

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  • Through our three Impact Centers -- Domestic Excellence, Global Leadership, and our Engagement Agenda -- we focus on developing leaders, advancing policy, and taking action to solve today’s most pressing challenges.

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Photo of Prairie Chapel Ranch by Wyman Meinzer

Bush Center Presents Presidential Retreats in New Exhibit

February 15, 2019
Special exhibit gives in-depth look at retreats as unique places of work and rejuvenation

DALLAS, TEXAS (February 15, 2019) – The George W. Bush Presidential Center is excited to announce that a new special exhibit, Presidential Retreats: Away from the White House, will open to the public March 6, 2019. The exhibit will run through October 6, 2019. 

Presidential Retreats: Away from the White House will showcase presidential retreats as unique places of work and attempts at relaxation. Four featured retreats – Camp David in Frederick County, MD, Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, TX, LBJ Ranch in Stonewall, TX, and Walker’s Point in Kennebunkport, ME – will be highlighted in-depth revealing how U.S. presidents have used these special places for work, rejuvenation, and rest. The exhibit will also explore other presidential retreats over the last two centuries from Mount Vernon to Mar-a-Lago.

“We are excited to show our visitors a glimpse into the lives of our presidents and first ladies and how they used Camp David and their personal retreats to get away, if only temporarily, from the demands of the White House,” said Brig. Gen. Patrick X. Mordente, director of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. “But of course, the responsibilities of the office follow them wherever they go. So our visitors will also learn how our presidents have used these retreats as sites for international diplomacy.”

Fascinating historical documents, photographs, and numerous artifacts from presidential retreats across the country will be on display, including Ronald Reagan’s aviator glasses, Jimmy Carter’s handwritten remarks from the Camp David accords, and a model of the amphibious car LBJ used for personal pranks.

The hidden historic roles of presidential retreats will include stories of the presidents and first ladies’ daily lives, hobbies, sports, and behind-the-scenes anecdotes. Visitors will learn about the specific initiatives, challenges, and accomplishments that made each retreat iconic as well as the intimate family memories that endear these unique locations to their occupants. This also includes the Bush family’s use of presidential spaces – for weddings, holidays, and more.

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About the George W. Bush Presidential Center 

Rooted in the guiding principles of President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush, the George W. Bush Presidential Center engages communities in the United States and around the world by developing leaders, advancing policy, and taking action to solve today’s most pressing challenges. The Bush Center is home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, which is operated by the National Archives and Records Administration, and the George W. Bush Institute, the non-partisan, public-policy arm of the Bush Center. The Bush Center is located on the campus of SMU in Dallas, Texas, and also includes a 15-acre park; Café 43, a full-service restaurant; and a Museum Store.