William J. Clinton Presidential Center Debuts Two New Summer Exhibits
June 02, 2011
The William J. Clinton Presidential Center
will open two new temporary exhibits on June 4, 2011. “Elvis” and “Elvis at 21, Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer” will run through August 21 and September 11, respectively, and will be accompanied by exhibit-related events, activities and programming throughout the summer.
“Elvis at 21, Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer”
is a collection of 56 captivating black-and-white images of Elvis captured by noted photojournalist Alfred Wertheimer. Hired in 1956 by RCA Victor to shoot promotional photographs of a little-known and recently signed recording artist, Wertheimer realized that his subject was on the verge of creating a music revolution. This exhibit takes visitors on a photographic journey that captures the fleetingly private life of one of the world’s most public figures. “Elvis at 21, Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer,” an exhibition developed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, Govinda Gallery and the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, is sponsored nationally by HISTORY™.
“When I was originally given the assignment, I had to ask ‘Elvis who?’ said Wertheimer. “As soon as I met him, on March 17, 1956, I knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I was determined to make the most of it. I took more than 2,500 images, 56 of which will be showcased at the Clinton Center.”
is an original separate exhibition that was inspired by President Clinton’s own fascination with the birth of rock ’n’ roll and the man behind the music. President Clinton describes his appreciation for Elvis in his autobiography, My Life, "Beyond his music, I identified with his small-town Southern roots. And I thought he had a good heart." In partnership with Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, items will include memorabilia from some of Elvis’ most popular movies, such as Elvis’ red MG from "Blue Hawaii." See the arrival of Elvis' red MG at the center in the photo spotlight.
“Elvis Presley fans are among the most dedicated and most diverse, and we are proud to include President Clinton as an admirer of Elvis’ music, movies and his on-going cultural influence,” said Scott Williams, Vice President of Marketing and Media for Elvis Presley Enterprises. “We believe that the loaned items from Graceland will add another level of authenticity to the Center’s ‘Elvis’ exhibit, making it even more attractive to visitors from around the world.”
The exhibition will also showcase the unique works of celebrated American pop artist, Peter Mars. Fusing and confusing the traditional distinctions between high culture and low art, Mars turns his unique interpretation of popular culture to one of the greatest pop culture icons of all time, the singular Elvis Presley.
Through a rare collaboration with Elvis Presley Enterprises, Mars has been granted unfettered access to their extensive photography archive. “Elvis Presley Enterprises has allowed me to use any of their 60,000 archival photographs taken of Elvis throughout his life. If I had only Elvis to work on for the rest of my career, he would fill my days. His legacy is daunting,” said Mars.
“Elvis’ life and legacy continue to be a source of interest and inspiration which is why we are thrilled to be able to offer two simultaneous Elvis exhibits at the Center this summer” said Stephanie S. Streett, executive director of the William J. Clinton Foundation. “In addition to the exhibits, this summer will be full of Elvis-inspired activities including two week-long rock ’n’ roll camps for elementary and middle school students, Super Summer Saturday activities that will appeal to the whole family and, in partnership with the Clinton School of Public Service, a dynamic speaker series.”
For more information on Clinton Center summer camps, Super Summer Saturdays or the speaker series, visit www.clintonpresidentialcenter.org
In addition, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. (EPE) announced that for this year’s fifth annual Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest
, there will be a record-breaking 26 preliminaries – including one at the Clinton Center – held around the world throughout the spring and summer. The Center’s preliminary is July 16. Other preliminaries are being held in Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada and all over the United States. The 26 winners will then compete in Memphis, Tennessee, on August 11 and 12, 2011, during Elvis Week
Both exhibits open to the public on June 4. The Clinton Center will host
a reception and grand opening on June 3, with special guest Alfred
Wertheimer. Wertheimer will lead a discussion about his experiences
with the King of rock ’n’ roll on what was the threshold to his rise to
superstardom. Additionally, Wertheimer will be signing copies of his
book “Elvis 1956,” which are available for purchase at the Clinton
Museum Store. Reservations are required and can be made by calling
501-748-0425 or via email to email@example.com