Permanent Exhibit at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum

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The Roosevelt Library’s new permanent museum exhibits were recently installed with $6 million in private funds raised by the Roosevelt Institute, the Library’s private, non-profit partner.

The new exhibits tell the story of the Roosevelt presidency beginning in the depths of the Great Depression and continuing through the New Deal and World War II with an emphasis on both Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s relationship with the American people.

Special interactives, immersive audio‐visual theaters, and rarely seen artifacts convey the dramatic story of the Roosevelt era as the Roosevelt Library brings a “New Deal to a New Generation.”

First inaugural gallery
Map Room interactive in the Library's new permanent exhibit
Visitors use the Oval Office desk interactive at the Library's new permanent exhibit

The new museum contains many interactive exhibits including touch screen experiences at the Oval Office Desk and FDR's Ford Phaeton. "Confront the Issues" are ten interactive touch screens strategically located throughout the exhibition that offer visitors the opportunity to explore digital "flipbooks"that contain documents, photographs, and excerpts from historians -- with multiple viewpoints -- related to controversial issues during Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency. Topics include "Japanese American Internment," FDR and the Holocaust," "FDR's Health," and "Did the New Deal Really Work?"

The new galleries feature two immersive Fireside Chat Environments. Each of these environments will have a radio and period furnishings, inviting visitors to sit and listen. After the Chat audio concludes, visitors can hear readings of actual letters -- representing a variety of opinions -- giving the visitor a chance to hear how Americans felt about the president’s leadership during the Depression and World War II. The 500 square foot Map Room exhibit recreates FDR’s secret White House Map Room. The walls within the room also feature projections of maps and timelines of key battles and decisions, as well as animations. Visitors can follow along with the maps just as FDR did, and understand the importance and context of his strategies.

At the center of the Map Room are six interactive tables featuring animation and videos, spotlights on key countries and meetings that took place during the war, and trivia quiz opportunities. It also displays memos, calendars, and multiple maps used by FDR and his military advisers.

“Behind the Scenes” provides visitors with an extraordinary opportunity to see large numbers of museum objects that don’t appear in the permanent exhibition. This special area of the new museum features storerooms with large glass viewing areas making it possible for visitors to get a special peek into the collections of the President and First Lady. Here, visitors can see FDR’s model ship collection, his 1936 Ford Phaeton (with hand-controls), Val-Kill furniture, family paintings and portraits, New Deal art and gifts of state.


Special Temporary Exhibit

"The Roosevelts' Art: Personal Stories"

"Privateer Brig General Armstrong Surrounded by the British Fleet at Fayal," 1850; Oil on canvas; Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze (1816-1868) 

A new special exhibit showcasing nearly 100 presidential gifts given to President Roosevelt by governments, organizations, and private individuals.The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum opened a new special exhibition, "The Roosevelts' Art: Personal Stories," on Friday, April 1, 2016. This temporary exhibit presents 22 diverse artworks selected from the Roosevelts' large collection, now part of the Roosevelt Library and Museum's permanent holdings. Included in the exhibit, are several contemporary paintings by artist and Roosevelt great-granddaughter, Laura Roosevelt. "The Roosevelts' Art: Personal Stories" will be on display in the William J. vanden Heuvel Gallery in the FDR Presidential Library from April 1 through April 30, 2016. Regular Library and Museum hours and admission apply.

Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt owned and enjoyed a wide variety of art. They filled the walls of their homes in Hyde Park, New York City, Warm Springs, and Washington, D.C. with paintings, prints, and drawings. -more- "The Roosevelts' Art: Personal Stories" presents artworks selected from the Roosevelts' personal collection. Each has a story -- a connection to Franklin or Eleanor. Some provide windows into friendships, family bonds, or political relationships. Others reveal intellectual interests or cast light on dramatic moments. Still others offer only hints about their deeper meaning to their owner -- mere glimpses into a private world. They are open to multiple interpretations -- and are interesting for that reason.

Together, these artworks offer us a different way to encounter the Roosevelts -- one that can yield new insights into the many sides of these two complex individuals.


Online Exhibit: Art of the New Deal 

Artwork featured in exhibit: Art of the New Deal Art of the New Deal features a selection of New Deal art from the collections of the FDR Library. Click the link above or the image to the left to enter the online exhibit.




Traveling and Joint Exhibitions

The museum maintains an active program of traveling exhibitions. We also present joint exhibitions with other museums and libraries. Contact Supervisory Museum Curator Herman Eberhardt if you are interested in bringing one of our traveling exhibits to your institution.

Now Available:

This Great Nation Will Endure: Photographs of the Great Depression

Stauth Memorial Museum
Montezuma, Kansas
March 9-June 8, 2014

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Banners Along the Hudson: FDR's Hudson River Collections   |    Download the Exhibit Banners