The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 102, July 1998 - April, 1999

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Seeking a good book in social and religious Southern history? Look at They
Sought a Land. Ragsdale has made a significant and charming contribution to
our understanding of life.
Blinn College at Bryan
South Texas Presbytery, Presbyterian Church in America IRVIN M. MAY JR.
Exhibition Reviews
The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, ooo George Bush Drive
West, College Station, Texas, 77845; telephone 409/260-9552, fax 409/260-
9557. Hours: 9:3o0 A.M. to 5 P.M., Monday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.
Sunday. Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.
Admission: adults $3; students, A&M/Blinn faculty/staff, senior citizens (62
and up), groups with advance reservations $2.50; children (16 and under),
school groups, chaperons ( / o students) free.
The George Bush Library and Museum opened to the public in November
1997 on the main campus of Texas A&M University. The new 69,000 square
foot facility was designed at the Houston offices of Hellmuth, Obata &
Kassabaum, Inc., with 17,000 square feet of museum space. The exhibits were
designed under the able leadership of curator Patricia Burchfield, formerly reg-
istrar for many years at the LBJ Presidential Library, and the firm of DMCD,
Inc., of New York.
The exhibitions follow logically the life and career of George Bush, including
exhibits on his personal life and family, his service in World War II, his educa-
tion at Yale University, his marriage to Barbara Pierce Bush, and the early years
in the oil business in Texas.
The public service exhibits document his career as a congressman from
Houston, two unsuccessful campaigns for the U.S. Senate in 1964 and 1970, his
role as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Chairman of the Republican
National Committee, Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in Peking, China, Director
of the Central Intelligence Agency, two terms as vice president of the United
States under Ronald Reagan, and one term as president. Topical exhibits feature
such areas as the Cold War and the Berlin Wall, domestic policies and accom-
plishments such as the Clean Air Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Although some might find it a bit sparse, most visitors will especially enjoy a
walk through the president's office on Air Force One, a walk by his office at
Camp David, complete with the voice of President Bush explaining items in the
room highlighted throughout his explanations, and the traditional exhibits of
usually lavish gifts from heads of state from around the world.
An obvious challenge to the exhibit designers was to adequately cover so many
widely divergent offices in a limited space. The answer was provided by technolo-
gy, with the Bush Museum and Library becoming the most computerized
Presidential Library in the nation. Computers are utilized to offer video clips
and touch screens through the exhibits, and enhance programs in a well used
classroom for school groups, teachers, and senior citizens. Under the direction

April

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 102, July 1998 - April, 1999. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101219/. Accessed September 18, 2014.