Edward Rothstein – “So, of course, continuous homage is being paid by the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum to its founder as it unveils a new permanent exhibition here on Sunday. Its director, Lynn A. Bassanese, points out that the exhibition represents the first major rethinking of President Roosevelt’s life and career in decades at the library, and its showcase is a $35 million renovation, the building’s first major overhaul since President Roosevelt himself dedicated the library in 1941. Roosevelt also created the model that with some variation has been followed since: a privately financed library (here once part of the sweeping family estate) donated to the government and overseen by the National Archives. What is remarkable is not that the overall effect here is celebratory but that it is so overwhelming. You emerge from this 12,000-square-foot exhibition (designed by Gallagher & Associates) in a state of justified amazement, not necessarily because new facts have been revealed, or because of new interactive video tables and screens with digital “flipbooks,” but because the exhibition, whose curator is Herman R. Eberhardt, so steadily recounts the history.”
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