Eric Draper is the former chief photographer and special assistant to President George W. Bush. On June 29-30 he will bring his “Front Row to History” exhibition to Tyler and Longview. In this one-of-a-kind photographic extravaganza Draper chronicles the Bush administration by showcasing the most recognizable graphic images and never-before-seen photographs of our country’s 44th chief executive and the most significant places and events of his terms in office.

Draper recorded the administration via more than a million photos taken from George W. Bush’s own inauguration to the trip home from Barak Obama’s eight years later. Draper will personally narrate this visual documentary during an hour-long discussion and display of his multitude of images. This seminar will include details of photos recording such monumental events as September 11, the Iraq War, and major occurrences in international diplomacy.

Draper will also serve as chief judge of the Bank and Trust’s 30th Annual Photography Contest and Exhibition. This yearly event is open to professional and amateur photographers and features the people and places of East Texas. Winning entrees will be included in the bank’s 2013 Collector’s Calendar. The contest’s awards ceremony will be at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, July 1 in the bank’s main lobby in downtown Longview.

This mobile historical gallery will go on display in Tyler at 11:30 a.m. June 29 at Hollytree Country Club, and the next day at 6:30 p.m. in Longview’s Pinecrest Country Club as part of Texas Bank and Trust’s 30th anniversary contest celebration. For tickets and additional information call (903) 237-5676 or visit

When Bush emerged from the Situation Room where the decision had been made to go to war in Iraq. Draper followed Bush and snapped a frame that shows the worry and weight of the decision when he turned to Draper and asked, “Eric, do you like history?” Draper said he did, and Bush told him, “Well, these images you’re making, they’re important.”