Executive Decisions: The Personal Landscape Legacy of American Presidents
4923 Symbolic birth cabin, Memorial Building at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park, Hodgenville, Kentucky, CLUI photo
A president’s outsized stature as an individual, and as the interpreter-in-chief of America, can make for interesting terrestrial manifestations. From birthplace to tomb, and at points in between, each president’s personal history forms a geography of their identity and legacy. For many early presidents, their landscape evolved over time, shaped by historians and others as the nation claimed its past. More recently, presidents get directly involved, designing their official museum, library, and historical parks while still in office and in the years of their post-presidency. Whether done for them, by them, or a little of both, each presidency leaves sites that end up on the physical map of the nation, creating lasting landmarks on that ultimate political and cultural document: the shared terrain of these United States.

This exhibit was supported by a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

VIEW THE ONLINE EXHIBIT

READ THE NEWSLETTER ARTICLE