Only 43 men in the history of the United States have held the title of President.
That’s a fairly small group , smaller than your average NFL team. But smaller still is the group of professionals who have held the title as the President’s chief photographer. To date, only nine men have served as the official White House Photographer.
President John F. Kennedy first appointed photographer Cecil Stoughton in 1960 in the role of White House Photographer. In the nearly 50 years following that first appointment, Presidential photographers have served as visual historians of the President’s daily life.
These photographers captured rare glimpses inside the White House and the historic moments of the Presidents they served. In addition to iconic images that enter the public’s memory of the President, private moments are captured as well.
On October 21, 2011, the Truman Library and Museum in Independence, MO, is excited to share the works of these photographers with the exhibition “The President’s Photographer: Fifty Years Inside the Oval Office.”
The exhibit displays images from the 1960s, when the first Presidential photographer was hired, to today’s unprecedented coverage of Barack Obama. The National Geographic exhibition features works by veteran presidential photographers including David Hume (who photographed Gerald Ford), David Valdez (George H.W. Bush), Bob McNeely (Bill Clinton), and Eric Draper (George W. Bush).
This tradition continues today as the 44th President’s chief photographer Pete Souza documents Barack Obama’s Presidency from behind the scenes.
The exhibit launched October 21, 2011, and will run until January 22, 2012. Check out the Truman Library’s exhibition schedule for more interesting exhibits and programs!