Barbara Bush Takes Center Stage in Museum Exhibit

The Bush family will certainly be in the spotlight during this month approaching the Republican National Convention. But former First Lady, Barbara Bush, does not have to wait for her time in the limelight, as the Museum at the George Bush Presidential Library in nearby College Station presents another “first” with an exhibit dedicated entirely to her. Titled “Barbara Bush: An Extraordinary Journey,” the exhibit runs through Sept. 19, and features an in-depth look at the life of the former first lady. There are photographs, memorabilia and personal items from the museum’s collections, that tell the story of her journey from being a schoolgirl in Rye, N.Y., to becoming the First Lady of the land. The exhibit explores not only Mrs. Bush’s time in the White House, but also her role as mother, author, volunteer, literacy advocate, photographer and partner of a husband-on-the-move.

Twenty-two of Mrs. Bush’s gowns, her wedding dress and a reproduction of her inaugural gown are included in the exhibit. Displayed in the Museum’s Ansary Gallery of American History, “Barbara Bush: An Extraordinary Journey” took Museum Curator, Patricia Burchfield and her staff more than a year to plan, design and create. Additionally, they spent more than 1,000 hours researching the library’s photo and textual archives. “She is a remarkable lady. We really explored our extensive collection to find documents, artifacts and photos that tell the story of Barbara Bush,” Burchfield said. “We also featured items that had never been displayed in the museum before.”

Three new audio-visual features have been created especially for this exhibit. The first is a 16-minute film, narrated by Barbara Bush, which tells the story of her very fascinating life. The second is a captioned video presentation of slides that Mrs. Bush photographed during her stay in China. The third is a collection of images from the vice-presidential era, and is also narrated by Mrs. Bush.

The George Bush Presidential Library and museum are open seven days a week, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Museum admission is $7 for adults, $5 for senior citizens 62 plus and groups of 20 or more with reservations. Children six and older are $2, while Texas A&M University and Blinn college students, as well as children under six, are admitted free. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. For further information and directions call (979) 260-9552.

(The Courier     8.6.04)

(The Villager    9.2.04)

About The People's Critic

David Dow Bentley III, writes columns about the performing arts which are featured in newspapers from the East Coast to the Gulf Coast. A member of the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA), The International Theatre Critics Association, and America's oldest theatrical club, The Lambs, he also had long service as the editor of The Lambs' Script magazine. Mr. Bentley may be contacted via e-mail at
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