Who will be the next occupant of the White House—a reality TV star, a former first lady or some dark horse we haven’t even thought of yet? We won’t know until November, but in the meantime, political junkies can get a glimpse into the lives of former American presidents in an exhibit now on display at Louisiana’s Old State Capitol.
The show features 57 photos taken by presidential photographer Diana Walker, who, as curator Lauren Davis says, was “essentially embedded” in the White House during 20 years shooting for Time magazine, during the tenures of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Bill Clinton. Earlier in her career, she photographed Presidents Ford and Carter, and she has since captured images of world leaders and presidential candidates.
“Her photos are the behind-the-scenes moments that give viewers a better sense of the personalities of our leaders,” Davis says. “Ms. Walker understood the privilege she had in taking photos of things that otherwise the public would never get to see.”
With its focus on political history, the Old State Capitol was a natural fit for this exhibit, which Davis notes was scheduled more than a year ago, long before the current campaign became one of the most compelling in recent memory. The museum will help visitors get into the election-year spirit with hands-on, family-friendly activities that focus on voting and the office of the presidency.
“Many of Walker’s photos have become quite iconic,” Davis says, “and I think a lot of visitors will recognize them or maybe even recall the situation or event depicted.”