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Home > Publications > Historic New England Magazine > Summer 2004 > Once and Future Presidents

Once and Future Presidents

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ABOVE LEFT  Dwight D. Eisenhower, Newport, Rhode Island, 1958. Photograph by Verner Reed.
ABOVE RIGHT TOP  Benjamin Harrison (seated center) at a Fourth of July celebration at Henry Bowen's Roseland Cottage in Woodstock, Connecticut, 1889.
ABOVE RIGHT  Zachary Taylor, army hero and twelfth president of the United States, 1840s. Daguerreotype by Southworth and Hawes.

For one week in July, Boston will be at the heart of the American political process. For it is then that the Democratic Party will convene in the city to nominate its candidate for the office of President. Thousands of delegates will gather to cast their votes at the Fleet Center, only a few blocks away from SPNEA's Otis House Museum.

In an effort to introduce the conventioneers to SPNEA and the museum, the staff has planned a number of programs and activities. Among the offerings is an exhibition in July of photographs of John and Jacqueline Kennedy by noted photographer Verner Reed, whose collection is now in SPNEA's Library and Archives. Reed shot many of the images for Life and Time Magazine when Kennedy was still a Massachusetts senator.

ABOVE LEFT Theodore Roosevelt and family, 1903. Photograph by the Pach Brothers reproduced on a postcard.

ABOVE RIGHT Calvin Coolidge, his wife Grace, and their dog Blackberry, Plymouth, Vermont, 1931. Photograph by Alton H. Blackington from the Yankee Publishing Collection.

Other activities include transforming the Otis House into a welcome center for the Beacon Hill neighborhood. Visitors from the convention will be able to take a tour of the Otis House, to learn about other historic sites on Beacon Hill, and to find information about places to eat and shop. In addition, the Otis House museum shop will offer postcards, maps, and items of local interest.

While preparing for the Kennedy exhibition, the staff identified numerous images of other former presidents in the collection, a selection of which is presented here. This may surprise some who think that SPNEA's photographic holdings document only buildings and landscapes. To the contrary, the collections contain thousands of images of people, including politicians. The presidential images on these pages, dating from the 1840s to the 1950s and representing a variety of formats and styles, speak to the richness and diversity of SPNEA' s collections.

-Lorna Condon
Curator of Library and Archives

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ABOVE LEFT Abraham Lincoln and his son Tad, 1864. Photograph by Anthony Berger/Studio of Mathew Brady used on an advertisement for a Boston business.
ABOVE RIGHT TOP Arrangement of skeletonized leaves and objects commemorating the reelection of Ulysses S. Grant in 1872. Stereo view published by Irene L. Rogers.
ABOVE RIGHT John F. Kennedy riding in a parade, 1956. Photograph by Verner Reed.

Once and Future Presidents