Press Release
May 1, 2012

"The Roosevelts: Public Figures, Private Lives"
An Immersive Photographic Journey Featuring Nearly 1000 Images
Opening May 1, 2012

Contact Information

  • Cliff Laube (845) 486-7745

Hyde Park, NY…From May 1, 2012 to late summer 2013 -- while the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum’s permanent exhibit galleries are closed for the final stage of a $35 million renovation -- the Roosevelt Library is presenting the largest photography exhibition ever assembled on the lives and public careers of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. “THE ROOSEVELTS: PUBLIC FIGURES, PRIVATE LIVES,” is a new and very different kind of exhibit that takes visitors on an immersive photographic and film journey through the lives and times of the Roosevelts. The exhibition features nearly one thousand images that vividly depict both their public and private lives. Visitors can see the exhibit beginning Tuesday, May 1, 2012, during regular operating hours. Visit for additional information.

These photographs include famous and familiar images, many reproduced in dramatically large formats. But the exhibit also presents visitors with new visual perspectives on the Roosevelts through large numbers of unique and rarely-seen personal photographs from the unparalleled photographic collections at the Roosevelt Library. Shot by family members, friends, government officials, and other insiders, these images offer fascinating views into the private lives of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and their family and political associates. These include childhood images, candid snapshots of family life and trips, humorous moments, behind-the-scenes views of famous figures, and unusual perspectives on historic meetings and events.

Special audiovisual programs accompany the photographs. These include projections of little-known film shot by Roosevelt family and friends that depict Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt in unscripted moments. The highlight of the exhibit is a multimedia presentation featuring original audio recordings of Eleanor Roosevelt speaking about her family life.

Acting Director Lynn Bassanese remarked, “One of our primary goals throughout this renovation has been to keep the Museum open to the public. This new exhibit was designed by our museum staff to serve not just as an interim exhibition but also a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our visitors. Never before have this many photographs of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt been assembled in one place. The pictures tell the personal story of a very public family.”

Regular admission prices will be charged. Visitors who save their tickets from “The Roosevelts: Public Figures, Private Lives,” dated between May 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013, will receive free admission for an additional visit after the Library and Museum reopens in late summer 2013.

For additional information about the exhibition call Cliff Laube at (845) 486-7745, visit, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the renovation

The ongoing restoration carefully preserves the building's historic appearance, while updating its archives and museum. The first phase of the renovation, completed in December 2011, included updating drainage, plumbing, electrical, security, and fire protection systems. The second phase involves restoration of the historic exterior including masonry walls, sheet metal roofing, windows and doors, and increasing the permanent exhibition space. Museum visitors and researchers will enjoy improved amenities, including, for the first time, full accessibility for people in wheelchairs.

State-of-the-art installations on the life and times of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt will follow the Roosevelt presidency from the Great Depression to the New Deal years and the Second World War. This new exhibition will also cover the Roosevelts’ early years and FDR's heroic struggle to regain his strength and political career after polio. Other galleries will consider the Roosevelt legacy today and guide visitors through Mrs. Roosevelt's work in the years following the President's death. Special interactives and immersive audio-visual theaters will bring the new deal to a new generation. The redesign and installation of the permanent exhibits is made possible by private funding provided by the Library's private partner, the Roosevelt Institute.

About the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum is dedicated to preserving historical material and providing innovative educational programs, community events, and public outreach. It is one of thirteen presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. For information about the FDR Presidential Library call (800) 337-8474 or visit

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