Previous Exhibits

In addition to the permanent galleries, the Reagan Library presents entertaining and informative temporary exhibitions on a wide range of subjects. The Library installs two to three new exhibitions a year, so check back to see what is new.

The World of Da Vinci

 

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum is proud to present The World of da Vinci, featuring rare folios of the authentic, 500-year-old Codex Atlanticus. Come discover the true Leonardo da Vinci through these sources of inspiration: a workshop of ideas and designs for everyone.

This remarkable exhibition features over three-dozen reconstructions of Leonardo da Vinci’s fantastic machines, including over a dozen that are built life size including his Mechanical Lion, Flying Bicycle, Mechanical Bat and Great Kite.


 The Reagan Library will also host the worldwide premiere of da Vinci’s Double Continuous Organ, which is one of his most  complex and most functional projects!  

da Vinci’s famous art also comes to life with Digitally restored, (life-size) reproductions of The Mona Lisa, Vitruvian Man, The Last Supper and Lady with an Ermine. Each are displayed alongside interactive kiosks where you can learn more about the artwork, learn how the artwork has been restored over the years, and more!

The two folios, known as 710 and 897*, will be displayed alongside their real life, reconstructed counterparts and allow you to explore the true artistry and virtuoso of da Vinci.

*Each of the two folios will be on display for 3 of the 4 month exhibit run.


Leonardo da Vinci was a true genius who graced this world with his presence from April 15, 1452 to May 2, 1519. He is among the most influential artists in history, having left a significant legacy not only in the realm of art but in science as well, each discipline informing his mastery of the other. Today, no name better seems to symbolize the Renaissance age than da Vinci. In The World of da Vinci, you’ll discover machines and artwork to get a more complete understanding of the genius – Leonardo da Vinci.

Genghis Khan: The Exhibition

DISCOVER THE MAN BEHIND THE LEGEND!

 

What do pants, the pony express, cannons, paper money, skis, violins, bakhlava and “hooray!” have in common? Answer: Genghis Khan introduced them all to the West.

Not Genghis the brutal barbarian of Western history books, but Genghis the great civilizer and lawmaker, whose empire brought each of these innovations to the west, including 13th Century Mongolian-style democracy.

Now the most comprehensive exhibition of Genghis Khan and his treasures invades the Reagan Library, its only Southern California stop on an international tour that has drawn more than a million visitors.

As the exhibit strikingly portrays, Genghis’s reputation as the greatest conqueror is well-deserved – he dominated three times more land in his lifetime than either Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great, a conquest attested to by the formidable array of swords, bows, arrows, saddles and armor included on display in Genghis Khan. In fact, the historic exhibition showcases hundreds of artifacts from Genghis’s 13th century Empire, the largest such collection ever to tour.

Curated and developed by dinosaur expert Don Lessem, the exhibition features more than 200 spectacular objects on display, including rare and sophisticated weapons, costumes, jewels, ornaments, instruments and numerous other fascinating relics and elaborate artifacts from 13th-century Mongolia.

“I went to Mongolia to look for fossils and discovered the truth about Genghis Khan, a civilizing genius,” said Lessem. “It’s a great story best told in a major exhibition.”

The exhibition features loans by private collectors from Mongolia, Azerbaijian and the United States

 

Pompeii: The Exhibition 

 

Around mid-morning on August 24, 79 A.D., Mount Vesuvius erupted.  Molten rock and pumice was expelled from Mt. Vesuvius at a rate of 1.5 million tons per second.  Rocks and volcanic ash filled the atmosphere, turning day into night.  Within 24 hours, the Roman city of Pompeii lay destroyed – and perfectly preserved – under 15 feet of ash and volcanic debris.  It is estimated that about 16,000 people died in the eruption. 

 In 1748 when explorers examined the site, they found that the volcanic ash had acted as a preservative, and many of the buildings and even the skeletons and remnants of city life were still intact. This city frozen in time provided historians with a glimpse into what life was like in ancient Rome.

Pompeii: The Exhibition, opening October 6, 2018 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, features over 150 authentic artifacts on loan from the renowned Naples National Archaeological Museum in Italy.  These are not replicas, but rather original, 2,000-year-old objects that were preserved in the ash.  These artifacts include wall-sized frescos, marble and bronze sculptures, jewelry, ancient Roman coins, and full body casts of the volcano’s victims.

These artifacts, set in scenic depictions of their original surroundings, tell the tale of the bustling city of Pompeii, hidden from view and forgotten for centuries until its rediscovery over 250 years ago. The catastrophic power of volcanoes is also illustrated through an immersive CGI experience of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The impact and devastation is evidenced by full body casts (plaster casts made from the hollows left in the ash that hardened around the now disintegrated bodies of the victims, found upon excavation), eerily preserved in their final moments.

“5 stars for the Pompeii special exhibit - It was a fascinating peek into the lives of the people before Mt. Vesuvius erupted and the aftermath of the explosion.” – Karen W; Yelp Reviewer

EXHIBITION HIGHLIGHTS


The exhibition’s media-rich, immersive experience transports visitors back in time to 79 A.D. where they will embark on a journey through the ancient city, culminating with the fateful morning of the eruption. They will learn how Pompeii was a bustling commercial port and strategic military and trading center, while its neighbor Herculaneum, also buried by Vesuvius, was an exclusive Mediterranean resort. Artifacts bring this world to life as visitors discover how its people lived, loved, worked and worshipped.

Included among the more than 150 authentic artifacts are: mosaics and frescoes, gladiator armor, weapons, a ship’s anchor, ceramics, plates, furniture, jewelry, medical instruments and tools.

A simulated 4-D Eruption Theater experience allows visitors to experience the devastating impact Mount Vesuvius had on Pompeii, culminating in the reveal of full body casts of twisted human forms, asphyxiated by extreme heat and noxious gases.

This not-to-be-missed exhibition is thrilling for adults and appropriate for the whole family.Additionally, archaeological details present a unique record of Pompeii’s daily life including roads, buildings, and municipal services.

 

 

Titanic

Titanic

Titanic at the Reagan Library is a fascinating look at Titanic, combining real artifacts with the real stories of the people onboard the ill-fated ship.

This new exhibit tells the story of the unsinkable ship in a way no museum has done before. Artifacts from passengers, dispersed over time, will be reunited in this exhibit for the first time in over 100 years.

Highlights of the exhibit include:

  • A deck chair from the Titanic, one of only eight known to exist, as well as the only known “widows seat” deck chair from Carpathia.
  • Sheet music for “Narcissus” which was found on the body of Wallace Hartley, the musician who continued to play his violin, even as the ship was sinking.
  • The only known complete set of boarding documents and tickets from the Titanic.
  • A pocket watch from an unknown 3rd class victim who was buried at sea.
  • The Claim Form of the “Unsinkable” Molly (Margaret) Brown and other passengers and relatives, for loss of life and property.
  • Movie sets, props and costumes from 20th Century Fox’s Oscar-winning “Titanic” movie
  • Wreck wood from Titanic.
  • The Astor pocket watch

Original deck chair from the Titanic Original deck chair from the Titanic

BASEBALL! CELEBRATING OUR GREAT AMERICAN PASTIME

"I really do love baseball and I wish we could do this out on the lawn every day. I wouldn’t even complain if a stray ball came through the Oval Office window now and then.”

- President Reagan, May 11, 1983

The exhibit featured over 700 artifacts, including some of the rarest, historic and iconic baseball memorabilia from the largest known private collector in the United States. Extraordinary artifacts were on display from Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and scores of other historically important players and organizations.

Nancy Reagan: A First Lady's Style

Nancy Reagan: A First Lady's Style

Nancy Reagan : A First Lady's Style focused on the roles Mrs. Reagan played in the White House: hostess and ambassador, public servant and spokesperson, and loyal, caring wife.  The exhibition showcased almost 80 of her dresses, suits, and gowns spanning a fifty year timeframe.  The outfits range from her March 4, 1952 wedding dress to the skirt suit she wore to President Reagan's funeral in June of 2004. The exhibition included designs by Geoffrey Beene, Bill Blass, Valentino, James Galanos, Carolina Herrera, Adolfo, Yves St. Laurent, Oscar de la Renta, Jean Louis and Chanel.

READ MY PINS: The Madeleine Albright Collection

Read My Pins presents a remarkable range of more than 200 pins and brooches from the personal collection of Madeleine Albright. The majority of these pieces were collected and worn during Albright’s service as US Ambassador to the United Nations (1993–1997) and as the first female Secretary of State (1997–2001), under President Bill Clinton. The assortment is eclectic, international, and representative of nearly a century of jewelry design. Yet the jewelry’s true interest lies not in their materials or monetary value but in the roles they played during her government service: Albright used her pins as silent yet visually outspoken codes to foreign officials and the press. Pins could be adopted for various reasons—a shining sun or a patriotic flag would reinforce a positive alliance with the United States, for example, whilemore difficult negotiations might bring out wasps or snakes. These objects became delicate instruments with which she applied pressure during intense negotiations, and into which she invested humor as she represented the United States on the international stage.

 

Scaled miniature of the White House

Inside the White House: A Special Exhibition

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library opened a special exhibit featuring the White House Miniature, an authentic recreation of the White House measuring 50 feet long and 18 feet wide: a one-foot-to-one-inch scale. Taking over 600,000 hours of labor to create, the miniature is an amazing replica, showing visitors an intimate look into the White House - from the Lincoln bedroom to the Oval Office to tiny, working televisions to hand-carved chairs, tables and crystal chandeliers. Created by the Zweifel family, and first exhibited in 1979, the Miniature White House has been seen by over 42 million Americans.

 George Washington

Discover the Real George Washington: New Views from Mount Vernon

Approximately 100 original objects associated with George Washington – including the only surviving complete set of his famous dentures – were on display for the Reagan Library’s special exhibition, Discover the Real George Washington: New Views from Mount Vernon.  The exhibition went beyond the iconic image on the dollar bill to reveal the real George Washington as not only a general and president but as a young land surveyor, experimental farmer, and savvy entrepreneur. Washington’s views on religion and slavery, and the influence of his wife, Martha, were also explored in this exhibition which featured life-size figures of Washington developed through a cutting-edge forensic investigation, engaging videos, original artifacts, intricate three-dimensional architectural models, and interactive displays.

D23 Presents: Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives at the Reagan Library

Presented by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club and The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library, D23 Presents Treasures of The Walt Disney Archives was the largest exhibition ever curated by the Walt Disney Archives, at 12,000 square feet.  From Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and Mickey Mouse to Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain America, the exhibition featured more than 500 artifacts, at least half of which had never been seen by the public—including models, props, costumes, set pieces, and artwork from throughout Disney history.

Magna Carta: Essence of Democracy

Magna Carta: The Essence of Democracy explored why the 1215 Magna Carta is widely viewed as one of the most important documents in the history of our freedom and how it became the cornerstone of the U.S. Constitution. The highlight of this exhibition was the original 1215 Magna Carta, on loan from Lincoln Cathedral in Lincolnshire, England.