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Photos: New Exhibit ‘Beyond the Wildflowers’ Celebrates The Life Of Lady Bird Johnson

A chair that used to belong to the Lady Bird Johnson.
Gabriel C. Pérez
/
KUT
A chair that used to belong to the Lady Bird Johnson is displayed Tuesday during a media preview of the new exhibit at the LBJ Presidential Library, "Lady Bird: Beyond the Wildflowers." The collection features letters, photographs, clothing and artifacts of the former first lady.

A new exhibit at the LBJ Presidential Library opened this week to celebrate the life of Lady Bird Johnson, wife of former President Lyndon Baines Johnson. “Lady Bird: Beyond the Wildflowers” will feature never-before-seen artifacts such as letters, photographs and clothing that belonged to her.

“It’s the first time the library has ever put together an exhibit about her entire life: political, early life, everything,” says exhibit curator Nikki Diller. “Mrs. Johnson’s environmental activism is well-known but we wanted to really point out to visitors that Mrs. Johnson’s story is bigger than that.”

A collection of dresses and other clothing that belonged to Lady Bird Johnson.
Gabriel C. Pérez
A collection of dresses and other clothing that belonged to Lady Bird Johnson is displayed Tuesday during a media preview of the new exhibit at the LBJ Presidential Library, "Lady Bird: Beyond the Wildflowers."

The former first lady was a strong advocate for environmental conservation, which is why the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center was named in her honor. But Lady Bird Johnson was also a businesswoman, philanthropist and champion for education and civil rights. “Lady Bird: Beyond the Wildflowers” is meant to give a fuller picture of her life story through the keepsakes she collected over the years.

“What makes it special is that it is a story told by Mrs. Johnson,” Diller says. “We really wanted to highlight her voice and use her documentation of her life.”

A photo of President Lyndon B. Johnson with his wife, Lady Bird Johnson.
Gabriel C. Pérez
A photo of President Lyndon B. Johnson with his wife, Lady Bird Johnson, is displayed Tuesday during a media preview of the new exhibit at the LBJ Presidential Library, "Lady Bird: Beyond the Wildflowers."

These include interviews, oral histories and home movies the first lady took herself. Diller says Lady Bird Johnson was a documentarian and had “a unique perspective.”

Luci Baines Johnson is the youngest of the Johnsons’ two daughters. She says her mother had a wide variety of interests and passions. Baines Johnson hopes people walk away from the exhibit with an appreciation for her mother’s insatiable curiosity, her love of life and her desire to make a difference.

“I shared my mother with the world all of my life,” says Luci Baines Johnson, “but to be able to share some of the moments that meant the most to her with others – it was simply the right thing to do.”

The exhibit runs through August 2023.

Clothing that belonged to Lady Bird Johnson is on display.
Gabriel C. Pérez
Clothing that belonged to Lady Bird Johnson is on display Tuesday during a media preview of the new exhibit at the LBJ Presidential Library, "Lady Bird: Beyond the Wildflowers."
Photos of Lady Bird Johnson are on display at the LBJ Presidential Library.
Gabriel C. Pérez
The exhibit "Lady Bird: Beyond the Wildflowers" is currently on display at the LBJ Presidential Library.

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