NEW YORK -- "The American President," an exhibit of compelling news photos from The Associated Press, will be on view at Federal Hall National Memorial, 26 Wall St., starting May 4.
Drawn from AP Images’ vast photo archive, 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.
The exhibit, set in the rotunda of the National Park Service landmark that stands where George Washington was sworn in as the nation’s first president in 1789, will be on view through the end of the year.
In an introduction written specially for the exhibit, former President George H.W. Bush says: “The men and women who have covered the White House for the AP dating back to the middle part of the 19th Century have truly had a ‘front-row seat to history.’ Through their lenses, succeeding generations of AP ‘photodogs’ have captured both the ecstasy and agony of the American Presidency, and contributed in important ways to the historical record of each administration.”
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 U.S. and around the world.
"The American President" features a number of 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 and Ron Edmonds’ split-second documentation of the 1981 assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan.
The more than 80 photos underscore the need for AP photojournalists assigned to cover the White House to always keep their eyes on the president, so they won’t miss those revealing, unexpected moments that could easily dominate thousands of front pages and websites around the world.
Visiting hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on the weekend days of May 5, 6, 12 and 19, when Federal Hall will also be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
At 2 p.m. on May 12, AP White House photographer Charles Dharapak, recently named Photographer of the Year by the White House News Photographers Association, will be at Federal Hall to present an array of images that he’s taken during his years covering President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, as well as the past three presidential campaigns. He will offer stories behind the photos and insights into how he looks for fresh angles when accompanying the leader of the free world.
“The American President” will open on a special weekend of activities at Federal Hall. May 5 and 6 will feature family-friendly events and entertainment, including tours, music and crafts for kids. George Washington will make remarks and pose for photos.
For further information about Federal Hall, visitors may call 212-825-6990, or go to http://www.nps.gov/feha.
The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world's population sees news from AP. On the Web: www.ap.org.
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