Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Event: Benjamin Hufbauer, author of "Presidential Temples: How Memorials and Libraries
Shape Public Memory"
Date: Friday March 17, 2006
Location: Truman Presidential Museum & Library
Contact: Scott Roley, 816-268-8224, Deputy Director

Benjamin Hufbauer, author of "Presidential Temples: How Memorials
and Libraries Shape Public Memory" to Speak.

Benjamin Hufbauer, author of "Presidential Temples: How Memorials and Libraries Shape Public Memory," will speak at the Truman Presidential Museum & Library Friday, March 17, at 2:00 p.m. A book signing follows the program, which is free with Museum admission.

His topic is presidential memorials and memorialization, the edifices that are built to keep the memories of presidents alive and the ways in which presidents themselves try to shape the memories which people have of them and their administrations. He will talk about the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, which he considers the most important of all the presidential monuments, and about the self-commemorating presidential libraries-including the Truman Library-which the presidents from Herbert Hoover to Bill Clinton (and soon to include George W. Bush) have erected to preserve the record and shape the memories of their presidencies.

Hufbauer is often critical of presidential libraries for presenting in their museum exhibits views of their president that are too favorable and that hide or minimize the ugly sides of their president's administration. Part of his talk will analyze the Truman Library's museum exhibits to determine whether they fairly portray President Truman's accomplishments.

According to Truman Library director Michael Devine, "Hufbauer's arguments are always imaginative and provocative. I personally feel a responsibility to consider what he says about presidential libraries. They probably much too often get carried away in praising their presidents. We've tried to avoid that at the Truman Library, and I'm looking forward to hearing what he says about our exhibits."

Benjamin Hufbauer is associate professor of fine arts at the University of Louisville. His writing on the Roosevelt Library has appeared in the journal American Studies and the volume Libraries as Agencies of Culture.

The Truman Presidential Museum & Library is one of eleven Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. It is located at U.S. Highway 24 and Delaware in Independence, Missouri. For more information on the Museum and programs, call (816)268-8200 or visit www.trumanlibrary.org.

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