Museum to Open "Checks & Balances: Presidents and American Finance" Exhibit on Election Day

October 4, 2011

Contact:
Kristin Aguilera, Deputy Director
Museum of American Finance
212-908-4695
kaguilera@moaf.org

New York, NY – On Tuesday, November 8, the Museum of American Finance will open “Checks & Balances: Presidents and American Finance,” an exhibit on the financial challenges faced by American Presidents both in the Oval Office and in their personal lives.

From its inception as an experiment in a new kind of democratic government, the US has faced a panoply of economic and financial challenges. More often than not, it was the President to whom the nation turned to tackle these problems and secure financial prosperity.

Designed as an ongoing series of rotating exhibitions, the inaugural installment of “Checks & Balances” will focus on the national and personal fiscal policies of five of the most well-known Presidents: George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. The exhibit will introduce important Treasury secretaries and track significant financial markers, such as GDP, presidential salary and the consumer price index. It will then delve into the personal finances of the Presidents, including their economic backgrounds and their own banking practices.

Financial historian Robert E. Wright, Nef Family Chair of Political Economy at Augustana College SD, guest curated the exhibit, which was developed and designed by Becky Laughner, Director of Exhibits and Archives, and Maura Ferguson, Director of Exhibits and Educational Programs.

“The exhibition will seek to create a dialogue between the nation’s financial past and the present, presenting the legacy and long-term impact of the Presidents’ financial policies on today,” said Wright.

“Checks & Balances: Presidents and American Finance” is sponsored by Con Edison. It will be on display through November 2012.

About the Museum of American Finance
The Museum of American Finance, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is the nation’s only public museum dedicated to finance, entrepreneurship and the open market system. With its extensive collection of financial documents and objects, its seminars and educational programming, its publication and oral history program, the Museum portrays the breadth and richness of American financial history, achievement and practices. The Museum is located at 48 Wall Street, on the corner of William Street, and is open Tues–Sat, 10 am – 4 pm.

Materials

Press release (PDF, 54.72 K)