Clinton House Museum A home for everyone's story Wed, 09 Dec 2020 15:36:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Clinton House Museum 32 32 Sign of the Times Exhibit Opens December 11, 2020 Fri, 23 Oct 2020 16:48:39 +0000 Clinton House Museum opens Sign of the Times: The Great American Political Poster 1844–2012 December 11, 2020

Historically, the ephemeral hardworking American political poster has been hiding in plain sight, attempting to catch our eye and capture our vote through the use of visual language. In a survey that spans the life of these ubiquitous messengers, Sign of the Times: The Great American Political Poster 1844–2012 explores a variety of styles, design trends, and printing technology that will delight your eye, engage your imagination, and lead you to ruminate over past political commitments. Sign of the Times features the most exciting and rarely seen posters created in the last 170 years and opens December 11, 2020.

The political campaign poster had its humble beginnings in the 1840s when the new lithographic printing process, largely developed in Germany, was developed to satisfy a growing demand for printed material. Hand-colored portraits of presidential and vice-presidential candidates were first printed for the 1844 race between Whig Party candidate Henry Clay and the eventual winner, James K. Polk of the Democratic Party.

Technological innovation in the lithographic process in the 1880s ushered in the golden age of lithography, roughly 1890–1912, which produced some the of the most intricate and colorful posters in the exhibition.

World War II saw a huge outpouring of posters offered by the Roosevelt administration and included several key Democratic Party campaign posters designed by famous artists like Ben Shahn and James Montgomery Flagg. The international style that pervaded the 1950s rarely affected the campaign poster, an era in which cheap letterpress and offset “boxing style” posters were de rigueur. However, a marvelous new design element that became popular at the time was the “floating head” poster, and several for candidates Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Goldwater are included in the exhibition.

The left-wing counterculture revolution of the 1960s was awash in civil rights, psychedelia, and anti-war posters that culminated in the creation of some of the finest campaign posters, many of which appeared in the 1968 Democratic primary campaign of Eugene McCarthy. The George McGovern campaign that followed in 1972 was a virtual explosion of exciting political art. The offset printed poster was the more frequent, but many famous artists such as Alexander Calder and Andy Warhol screenprinted limited editions that helped fund campaigns. Hundreds of posters were created by well-known artists, illustrators, and often by inspired first time poster makers.

After the graphically exciting 1972 presidential campaign, future contests produced only a few outstanding posters in each election cycle. However, the Democrats’ nomination of Barack Obama in 2008 heralded a renaissance of the form, as many artists—insiders, outsiders, and the famous—jumped on the candidate’s bandwagon. In fact, in 2008 it looked as if the great American political poster had at last solidified its place in future campaigns. Unfortunately, it was not to be; in 2012 the creation of exciting innovative posters tapered off sharply from the previous presidential election cycle.

Through time, the American political poster has been sorely neglected as an art form and has played a minor cultural role despite its effectiveness in conveying a political message to millions of voters often through the skillful use of visual communication. Sign of the Times has made every effort to bring eye-popping political graphics to the forefront and show the great American political poster as art.

Sign of the Times was curated by Hal Wert, Ph.D., collector and professor of history at Kansas City Art Institute, and organized by Exhibits USA/Mid-America Arts Alliance.

The exhibit will run December 10 to December 31, 2020. The museum will be open extended hours for the duration of the exhibit.

About ExhibitsUSA

This exhibition is toured by ExhibitsUSA, a national program of Mid-America Arts Alliance. ExhibitsUSA sends more than 25 exhibitions on tour to over 100 small- and mid-sized communities every year. These exhibitions create access to an array of arts and humanities experiences, nurture the understanding of diverse cultures and art forms, and encourage the expanding depth and breadth of cultural life in local communities. For more about ExhibitsUSA, email or visit

About Mid-America Arts Alliance

Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) strengthens and supports artists, cultural organizations, and communities throughout our region and beyond. We achieve this primarily through our national traveling exhibition programs, innovative leadership development, and strategic grant making. We are especially committed to enriching the cultural life of historically underserved communities by providing high quality, meaningful, and accessible arts and culture programs and services. Each year M-AAA’s programs, on average, reach one million people. We believe in more art for more people. Additional information about M-AAA is available at   

Statement from Clinton House Museum Board of Directors Tue, 22 Sep 2020 22:01:11 +0000 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Mark Henry

President, Clinton House Museum, a nonprofit corporation

From the Board of Directors of the Clinton House Museum

We sincerely appreciate the longstanding support the Clinton House Museum received from the Commission over many years. They understand the importance of preserving the Clintons’ legacy of public service.

On September 21, 2020, the Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission voted unanimously to approve a motion to decrease funding for the Clinton House Museum for 2020. We understand the vote was made in response to the substantial decrease in tourism revenues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is our understanding the Commission has provided us with adequate time in which to take action to preserve this important landmark.

Our Board is working hard to provide to the Commission a feasible proposal that will enable this historic house to remain accessible to our community and to visitors from across the nation. Working with many people, we are confident we can achieve our goal.

Today’s vote is not a complete surprise. Over the past many months, the administration of the museum, together with several members of the Board, have discussed the economic realities of the pandemic on the hospitality industry. All parties have been especially sensitive to the many displaced workers in our local community. So many people earn their livelihood from restaurants, hotels, and other services.

We are optimistic and hopeful, and we invite members of the public to contact the Clinton House Museum with their ideas and financial support.

New Poster Exhibit: Votes For Women Thu, 10 Sep 2020 17:00:42 +0000 The Clinton House Museum has a new exhibit in house to commemorate the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment. Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence is a Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service poster exhibition. 

We invite you to a special exhibition exploring the centennial of women’s suffrage in the U. S. Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence is a compelling exploration of the women’s suffrage movement and its relevance to Americans’ lives today. On view September 10 to December 4, 2020, This poster exhibition is brought to you courtesy of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative

The story of women’s suffrage is a story of voting rights, of inclusion in and exclusion from the franchise, and of our civic development as a nation. Votes for Women celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment. The crusade for women’s suffrage is one of the longest reform movements in American history. Between 1832 and 1920, women citizens organized for the right to vote, agitating first in their states or territories and also, simultaneously, through petitioning for a federal amendment to the U. S. Constitution. 

Based on the National Portrait Gallery exhibition of the same name, Votes for Women seeks to expand visitors’ understanding of the suffrage movement in the United States. The poster exhibition addresses women’s political activism, explores the racism that challenged universal suffrage, and documents the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment which prohibits the government from denying U. S. citizens the right to vote on the basis of gender. It also touches upon the suffrage movement’s relevance to current conversations on voting and voting rights across America. 

The Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, Because of Her Story, is one of the the country’s most ambitious undertakings to research, collect, document, display and share the compelling story of women. It will deepen our understanding of women’s contributions to the nation and the world. More information about the initiative is available at

Clinton House Museum Earns Bicycle Friendly Business Recognition Thu, 09 Jul 2020 14:33:49 +0000
The Clinton House Museum has earned recognition as a Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Business from the League of American Bicyclists

We’ve joined the movement of 1,416 local businesses, government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies across the United States in transforming the American workplace to be more welcoming to our visitors and employees who bike. We know so many more of you are biking during the pandemic, and we are proud to support the health and well-being of our community by being more welcoming to people choosing to bike. 

“Since Clinton House Museum applied for the Bicycle Friendly Business award in February 2020, much has changed across the country,” said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. “What hasn’t changed is the commitment of our Bicycle Friendly Business award winners to the health and well-being of their employees, customers, and community through the promotion and encouragement of bicycling as a means of transportation, fun, and fitness.” 

Clinton House Museum joins 75 other new and renewing BFBs in the League’s Spring 2020 round of BFB awards, which includes government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, bike shops, and others across industries, all united in a commitment to transform American workplaces to be more welcoming to customers and employees who bike. The Bicycle Friendly Business award recognizes an organization’s contributions over months and years to the movement to build a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone.

The Museum is currently working on adding amenities and programming on-site specifically for bicycles and bicyclists, including bike racks, repair station, and employee incentives for biking to work. Museum Director, Angie Albright, says, “We are excited about this designation and about the opportunities it provides for us to be a resource for our neighbors and our visitors. We know that so many people come to Fayetteville to enjoy our great trails, and we want to welcome and accommodate them at the Museum.”

Learn more about the League’s Bicycle Friendly Business program at If you have feedback on how we can be even more welcoming to people who bike, don’t hesitate to let us know. 

Bicycle Friendly Business is a Registered Trademark of the League of American Bicyclists; used with permission.

This Place Matters Thu, 14 May 2020 21:54:54 +0000  

Dear Friends,

When I was 17, I had the good fortune to be a part of a Rotary foreign exchange trip to Japan with 11 other teens. We spent a wonderful month with our Japanese chaperones getting to know Japanese families and exploring several regions of the country. The most lasting and meaningful day for me was the trip to Hiroshima. We toured the museum and then knelt in silence at the Peace Memorial Park outside, with a clear view of the iconic bombed out building left over from the American bombing of Hiroshima at the end of World War II. Even as teenagers, we understood the power of standing in this place. We could feel the history in a way we could not through books or photographs. This place matters.

Years later I lived near Princeton, New Jersey. One sunny afternoon I was driving on what I thought were just windy back roads in the countryside, and I happened upon Rockingham. I could not resist getting out of the car to read the historical marker out front. Quite by accident I found myself standing in front of the house where General George Washington wrote his Farewell Orders to the Army, a document that released them from duty and initiated his retirement. Washington had lived here for several months, and this home had been his final headquarters in the American Revolutionary War. This modest structure housed a future president and a family generous enough to offer him shelter and safety in a period that would define American and world history. This place matters.

As a history lover and eager traveler, I have had so many of these moments, as I am sure you have, too. We find ourselves standing on a bit of ground where real people lived and breathed and became a part of the story of our community, our country, our people. They may have shaped history in profound ways, like George Washington, or they may have shaped your family or your community. In any case, these places and moments make up the story of who we are, as people, as a community, and as a nation. All of these places matter. 

People who visit the Clinton House come for this experience of just standing in a place where history happened, where a future Governor, President, Senator, Secretary of State started their lives as a couple. The house is a modest one, but isn’t that the point? We tell a story here of a young Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham, a couple who married and launched their careers in Fayetteville, Arkansas, a modest city in a small state. They represent the spirit of the American promise, that anyone from anywhere can make a positive impact in the world through public service. This house and its story are living illustrations of the  American values of democracy, hard work, and service to others. This place matters.

The sudden changes in our way of life have affected us as an organization, just as this pandemic has affected you. We have had to make staff cuts, shrink budgets, and cancel events. We were saddened by cancelling what promised to be an amazing exhibit entitled The Revolution is Female in celebration of the centennial of women’s suffrage. We have tentative plans to have it in 2021, so please stay tuned!

I am inviting you to be a part of our continuing story by donating to the Clinton House Museum. We know that the story of who we are as a community and a nation will be changed by this pandemic. You are crucial in helping us maintain this presidential site, the beautiful First Ladies Garden, and the programs that bring civic engagement and thoughtful conversations about public service, civic engagement, and history to our community.

Pandemics don’t last, but stories do. Please consider donating now to help us continue writing this story. Donate because this place matters.

Angie Albright, Director, Clinton House Museum

How Irish are the Clintons? Thu, 12 Mar 2020 00:54:44 +0000 On St. Patrick’s Day in the United States, Americans like to indulge in traditions such as parades, wearing green, and drinking green beer to celebrate the Irish heritage in our country. Those celebrations tend to be fun but don’t often account for the centuries-old relationship between Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the United States. Both President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton have made significant contributions to the relations between these countries. 

President Bill Clinton changed the United States’ relationship with Ireland and Great Britain through his involvement to bring about a peace deal between the Unionist and Nationalist parties of Northern Ireland. While campaigning in 1992, Clinton promised to give a United States visa to Gerry Adams, the leader of the Sinn Féin party, which had ties to the Irish Republican Army. In 1994, against the advice of advisors, Clinton granted the visa to Adams. This act was one of the reasons the Irish Republican Army ordered a ceasefire in 1994.

On November 30, 1995, President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Northern Ireland. Until that time, the United States had not engaged in the conflict between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. President Clinton was the first president to visit Northern Ireland. The President and First Lady went to show support for the peace process between the political parties. The Unionists wanted to remain a part of Great Britain, and the Nationalists wanted to become a part of the Republic of Ireland, which secured independence in 1921.

As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton played an important role in providing a voice for the Northern Irish women. She hosted teas for women of the Unionist and Nationalist parties. She also started a conference called Vital Voices, which allowed women leaders in Northern Ireland to be heard. One of her final trips as Secretary of State was to Belfast, where she and her husband had first arrived nearly twenty years earlier.

In April 1998, the Belfast Accord (also referred to as the Good Friday Accord) was signed. This agreement aimed to create a government where the vote of the majority would determine if Northern Ireland would remain under the rule of Great Britain. The leaders of the two main political parties in Northern Ireland, John Hume of the Social Democratic and Labour Party and David Trimble of the Ulster Unionist Party, jointly won the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize for their work in signing the agreement. 

President Clinton’s diplomatic efforts continue to have long reaching effects. He was inducted into the Irish American Hall of Fame in 2011 for his work in the 1990s. In January 2020, Queens University in Belfast appointed Hillary Rodham Clinton the 11th Chancellor of the university. She will serve as Chancellor for five years and is the first female chancellor of the university.

Twenty-two of the forty-five United States’ presidents have claimed Irish heritage, including Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. John Robert Greene says there’s no proof that Arkansan president Bill Clinton has Irish ancestry. That small fact did not stop Clinton from becoming one of the most influential presidents in Irish-Great Britain relations. He is not the only one with a bit of Irish history, however. Abraham Lincoln was a staunch Irish supporter, despite protests from his wife Mary Todd. His support of the Irish was so prominent that 15,000 Irish Americans fought for the Union during the Civil War. This support affected the Confederacy so much that Jefferson Davis sent a Bishop and priest to Ireland to try to convince the Catholic Church to prevent any more immigrants from joining the Union Army.

While Clinton was the first acting president to visit Northern Ireland, Ulysses S Grant was the first former president to visit Ireland in 1879. Not every Irish citizen was excited to see the former president, though. Grant had sided with the anti-Irish and anti-Catholic Know-Nothing movement in the 1850s. The Catholic members of the Cork City Town Council objected so strongly to Grant’s visit that he changed his itinerary and visited the city of Ulster instead.

President John F. Kennedy was the first Irish Catholic president. His Catholic roots were the subject of controversy as Protestant Americans wanted to make sure there was ample separation between the Catholic Church and American democracy. Irish ancestry was still a hot topic when Ronald Reagan ran for president. Reagan denied having Irish ancestry, instead saying he was British. While Reagan denied Irish ancestry, he was a fan of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations at the White House, reveling in the festivities.

Whenever Irish prime ministers come to visit the White House, the traditional gift is a vase of green shamrocks. You can tell its St. Patrick’s Day at the White House because of the emerald green water flowing from the fountain. First Lady Michelle Obama started this tradition. Green hasn’t always been associated with the Patron Saint of Ireland. St. Patrick was originally associated with the color blue!

Touring Arkansas: U.S. Civil Rights Trail Thu, 16 Jan 2020 16:48:13 +0000 Arkansas is rich in history, but there’s a difference between places and events in the past that should be celebrated, and those that should be honored, and never forgotten. The Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail marks events and locations that fall into the latter category, sites in Little Rock that were significant to the national Civil Rights Movement.

The Arkansas trail is included as a place to visit on the larger U.S. Civil Rights Trail, which will mark its second anniversary next Monday, the same day the nation pauses to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This trail links the country’s most important civil rights sites: more than 100 landmarks that were pivotal to the advancement of social equality during the volatile 1950s and 1960s, including churches, courthouses, museums and memorials that provide information and context for those difficult years in our nation’s history.

Arkansas sites included on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail are:

Central High School National Historic Site
One of the “Top Ten” sites on the trail, the history of the Little Rock Nine comes alive at the visitor center and museum, which offers U.S. National Parks ranger-led tours of the still-functioning school. It is the only operating high school located within the boundaries of a National Historic Site.

Clinton Presidential Center
The William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum chronicles Clinton’s presidency and includes replicas of the Oval Office and Cabinet Room; on its grounds you can also find the Anne Frank Tree Exhibit that conveys the complex history of human rights in Arkansas.

Daisy Bates House
The home of Daisy Bates, who was president of the Arkansas chapter of the NAACP and liaison for the Little Rock Nine, was vandalized and bombed by those against integration. Her prominence as one of the few female civil rights leaders of the period was recognized by her selection as the only female to speak at the Lincoln Memorial at the March on Washington on August 28, 1963. The home is also a National Historic Landmark.

Little Rock Nine Memorial
A trip to the Arkansas State Capitol is not complete without a stop at the Little Rock Nine Memorial, a testament to the nine African-American students who desegregated Little Rock Central High School.

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center
The museum features exhibits on African-American entrepreneurs and innovators, fraternal organizations and racial integration. It also offers a variety of educational resources.

In addition to the Arkansas locations, the trail’s famous sites include the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., the Greensboro, N.C., Woolworth’s, where sit-ins began, the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., and Dr. King’s birthplace in Atlanta, Ga.

The website profiles these landmarks and offers an interactive map, interviews with foot soldiers, past and present photographs and 360-degree video. Featured on the site is Little Rock resident Sybil Jordan Hampton, along with Katherine Sawyer of Topeka and Dorothy Lockett Holcomb of Farmville, who discuss their experiences during school integration after the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education court decision.

Map showing states on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail shaded in darker gray.


The 12 state tourism agencies known collectively as TravelSouth USA, including Arkansas Tourism, created the trail list.

About Arkansas Tourism
Arkansas Tourism, a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, strives to expand the economic impact of travel and tourism in the state and enhance the quality of life for all Arkansans. The division manages 14 Arkansas Welcome Centers and employs more than 60 staff members across The Natural State. For more information, visit

Our thanks to Arkansas Tourism for sharing the information and images contained in this article.


The Legacy of Johnny Cash Mon, 26 Aug 2019 16:56:48 +0000 The Clinton House Museum is excited to host 1968: A Folsom Redemption at the museum from September 1 to October 20, 2019. Celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of a landmark event, this exhibit is a collection of photographs and memories of two journalists lucky enough to be among a handful of eyewitnesses to the historic Johnny Cash concerts at Folsom Prison. This exhibit is a program of Exhibits USA, a national division of Mid-America Arts Alliance with Arkansas Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts

In addition to the exhibit, we are also offering a series of programs and events that highlight Cash’s visit to Fayetteville in 1968 with Governor Winthrop Rockefeller, his role as a cultural icon internationally and locally, and Arkansas prisons and prison reform movements past and present. Check our website for more details on these and other events.

  • September 1 – October 20: 1968: A Folsom Redemption on exhibit.
  • September 17: History Happy Hour: The Man in Black
  • September 24: Atkinson Speaker Series: Rock-n-Roll Prison Reform: Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, featuring Dr. Lisa Corrigan
  • October 2: Atkinson Speaker Series: Journalist in Concert: Gene Beley at Folsom Prison
  • October 17: Clinton Anniversary Dinner: Celebrating Arkansas Icons

Please contact the Museum at 479.444.0066 or through our website to schedule special tours for your club, class, or group.

Presented in partnership with:     Logo for Exhibits USA      logo for Mid America Arts Alliance      Logo for National Endownment for the Arts     Logo for Arkansas Arts Council


Hillary Rodham Appeared in Life Magazine Fifty Years Ago Today Thu, 20 Jun 2019 20:40:13 +0000 Fifty years ago today, on June 20, 1969, Life Magazine published an article about notable recent college graduates and their rousing commencement speeches. Nested in the middle of the article was Hillary Rodham’s photo and an excerpt of her commencement address to the graduating class of Wellesley College. Rodham was the first student in the college’s history to give a commencement address. 

Rodham’s speech drew national attention for the explicit praise for the constitutional right to protest. Protests permeated the national conversations in 1969. Young Americans who had been drafted had been fighting in the Vietnam War for fourteen years. In April, 1969, students at University of California, Berkley seized an empty lot to form a People’s Park. Also that month, over 300 students at Harvard University took control of a university building to protest the school’s administration. 

Rodham fearlessly proclaimed that protest is an American identity and that dissent is a necessary pathway to a new and brighter future. She said:

We’re searching for more immediate, ecstatic and penetrating modes of living. So our questions about our institutions, about our colleges, about our churches, about our government continue . . . . Every protest, every dissent, is unabashedly an identiy in this particular age.

If the experiment in human living doesn’t work in this country, in this age, it’s not going to work anywhere.

Rodham’s first appearance in a national magazine set the tone for her future of challenging the institutions of our nation. From announcing at her wedding reception that she was keeping her own last name to becoming the first woman to be a major party presidential candidate, she has forced people to ask the hard questions about the institutions we hold dear. 

Her words still hold power today. After the 2016 election, millions of women marched in cities all over the United States in protest. In 2018 and 2019, thousands of teachers walked out in a strike to demand better wages and educational access for students. Locally, Arkansans have advocated successfully to protect the future of the Buffalo National River. Students at area high schools staged a walk out in response to recent school shootings around the country. As Rodham noted, protest continues to be a cornerstone of our nation’s battles for equal rights and protections and an invaluable part of our democratic society. 

Listen to Hillary Rodham’s entire speech from May, 1969. Clips from PBS Frontline and A & E Biography have been added for context.

Dickson Street Community Exhibit Wed, 19 Jun 2019 19:16:45 +0000 We are going to bring the beer, the food, the music, and the venue. We want YOU to bring the exhibit! 

For the July 9th History Happy Hour: Celebrating Dickson Street, we are inviting the community to help us create a pop-up, crowd-sourced exhibit of all things Dickson Street. We would love to have you bring your photos, tshirts, CDs, matchbooks, restaurant menus, books, albums, signs, or whatever else you might have that represents your experience of Dickson Street over the years. We’re taking a trip down memory lane, and our community is helping us build the lane! 

Here is how it works: you bring your item(s) to the museum at 930 W. Clinton Drive, Fayetteville before July 9th or even the night of the event, and we get your contact information. You tell us a little bit about the artifact and what it represents. We display it that night only, and we return your artifacts to you that evening or within a week afterwards. During the event we’ll make sure your treasures are safe, and you’ll have the opportunity to see what others have brought. 

If you are interested in participating, please contact our Historian and Registrar, Flannery Quinn, at 479-444-0066 or at her email