The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
September 19, 2008

Mrs. Bush's Remarks at the Nasher Sculpture Center
Nasher Sculpture Center
Dallas, Texas

photos  Photos

9:35 A.M. CDT

MRS. BUSH: Good morning, everybody. I'm getting a sneak preview of the show that will open tonight at the Nasher Sculpture Garden, and I want to encourage everyone in the area to come out and see these new things that have been in the home -- in Ray Nasher and Patsy Nasher's home, and now are here in the garden for -- either in the garden or inside for people everywhere from all over the metroplex and all over the world, for that matter, to come see.

Mrs. Laura Bush is given a tour of the Nasher Sculpture Center by Acting Chief Curator Jed Morse, left, Trustee Nancy Nasher, second from left, and Debbie Francis, right, on Friday, Sept. 19, 2008, in Dallas, Texas. White House photo by Chris Greenberg I think this is a wonderful place to bring your children. You can see this magnificent sculpture behind me, "Walking to the Sky." This is the kind of sculpture that I think kids especially would be so fascinated with.

One of -- the Nasher Sculpture Garden is a huge asset to Dallas and to Texas. And this show particularly is a more personal show. It's more about the relationships the Nashers had with these artists, who are the greatest artists of their generation -- Picasso, Rodin, Oldenburg, Matisse, many others that are in here that are really very, very important to world history, art history.

And so I urge people to come out to hear these personal stories that you'll be able to hear about when you see these different pieces. It gives people, especially from around here, a chance, vicariously, to imagine what it would be like to be a collector, to get to meet many of these artists, to have a friendship with them like the Nashers were able to have.

These portraits here, the Andy Warhol portraits of Mrs. Nasher and the Nashers' three daughters, including Nancy, who's here with me -- imagine what it would be like to have Andy Warhol do your portrait. And so I think this is a very, very interesting show that I'd encourage people to come out. It's not just a show, it's a reorganization on the fifth anniversary of the Nasher Sculpture Garden. But I want to encourage people from around the area to come, to bring your friends and your out-of-town guests, because this is such a beautiful place to visit, and especially on perfect fall days like today.

And I also want to thank Nancy and Jed, who's the curator of the show, for the personal tour that I got early this morning.

While I'm here, I wanted to just talk about one other thing, and that's the clean-up that's going on on the Gulf Coast because of Hurricane Ike. I know that people in north Texas are concerned. A lot of people have family members and friends who live in Houston or Galveston, and I want to encourage people from north Texas to figure out ways you can volunteer and help with the hurricane recovery.

The Red Cross is a great way to volunteer. The Red Cross, because of all these hurricanes, some of their funds were depleted, so it's more important than ever now to give to the Red Cross. You can go to their website at, so I urge people to do that. I know that a lot of congregations around here are doing what they can, either gathering supplies or sending volunteers to the Gulf Coast to work in shelters, or to help pass out supplies, or to cook meals for the people on the Gulf Coast. So while I'm here, I wanted to just remind people in north Texas to do what they can. I know they already are and I know they'll continue to do that.

Mrs. Laura Bush stops in front of Pablo Picasso's painting 'Nude Man and Woman' as she is given a tour of the Nasher Sculpture Center by Acting Chief Curator Jed Morse, left, Trustee Nancy Nasher, gesturing, and Debbie Francis, right, Friday, Sept. 19, 2008 , in Dallas, Texas. White House photo by Chris Greenberg So do you all have some questions? Thanks for coming out early.

Q I understand the President was supposed to be here, but he couldn't because of the hurricane. He's on --

MRS. BUSH: The President was not going to be here today. He was going to be in Fort Worth earlier this week, and instead he went to Galveston and Houston.

Q How is the house hunt going?

MRS. BUSH: We're looking. And contrary to the rumors, we have not yet purchased a house, but we are in the midst of looking for it.

Q Do you have a timetable?

MRS. BUSH: Pardon me?

Q Do you have a timetable at all?

MRS. BUSH: It would be January 21st. (Laughter.)

Q In the Dallas area, though?

MRS. BUSH: In the Dallas area, yes. We lived here; this is where we lived when George was elected Governor. And we moved away 14 years ago to the Texas Governor's Mansion, and then to the White House, and so now we'll be coming home. Barbara and Jenna were born in Dallas, and so we're -- but they went to elementary school here -- so we're all looking forward to coming back.

Q How long do you plan on staying in north Texas today?

MRS. BUSH: I'll leave right after lunch.

Q Do you have a particular area -- Park City or Highland Park --

MRS. BUSH: No, we're looking in a lot of parts of Dallas.

Q You spoke about the Sculpture Garden, a good place to -- it may be a good place to bring your future grandchildren. They're doing construction across the street -- is that part of what brought you to Dallas, the cultural part of it?

MRS. BUSH: Dallas has a very, very vibrant cultural life, and it's really in a renaissance right now, as you can tell, with the construction of the new performing arts center and the other buildings that are being built down here. This is a new building, as well, a new Sculpture Garden just five years old. And all of this really makes for a very, very vibrant cultural life.

It's a really good classroom for your children, and I don't mean that in a boring classroom way. I mean, these are ways you can bring your children downtown to see the performing arts, to see the visual arts, to see -- to listen to music, and to really -- and especially in this show -- to learn what artists are really like, and how people have a friendship with them, and what it means to collect art, and what it means to have these public art venues like we do in Dallas. So I want to encourage people to bring their kids down here.

Mrs. Laura Bush addresses the media in the garden of the Nasher Sculpture Center at the conclusion of her tour of the new exhibit, Friday, Sept.19, 2008, in Dallas. Mrs. Bush said that the exhibit, which opened a few hours later, is in many ways about the relationships that Ray and Patsy Nasher had with the greatest artists of their generation - Picasso, Rodin, Oldenburg, Matisse and many others. The works had been in the Nasher home and are now at the center for enjoyment by the public.  White House photo by Chris Greenberg Q Did you have a favorite piece in the exhibit?

MRS. BUSH: Well, I liked a lot of them a lot. I mean, the one that comes to mind immediately, which also was the last one we saw, is a beautiful Rodin, one -- an early piece, maybe the earliest piece in the collection, 1876. It's a plaster cast; very fragile, very beautiful. Most people would not have an opportunity to see a piece like this. People in this part of the state and all the visitors that come from around the world are very, very fortunate to have the chance to be able to see a piece like this.

Thanks, everybody. Looking forward to seeing you again. You all will be the first to know if we buy a house -- (laughter) -- when we buy a house.

END 9:41 A.M. CDT

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