Coca-Cola Exhibit at Clinton Presidential Center

I am a social ambassador for the Clinton Presidential Center, discount but all opinions expressed here are my own.

Coca-ColaLast Saturday I was invited to tour the Coca-Cola exhibit at the Clinton Presidential Center. Ted Ryan, the director of heritage communications for The Coca-Cola Company, gave me and my fellow Clinton Presidential Center social ambassadors a private tour of part of the exhibit.Coca-ColaThis framed piece showed how one painting was used for multiple marketing materials. Line markings indicate different ways this one painting could be “cut” — like for a horizontal billboard. Ted also shared with us interesting Coca-Cola history like how the Santa everyone knows today was Coca-Cola’s doing and how three original Normal Rockwell illustrations for Coca-Cola are missing. Coca-ColaLater we joined the public in the Great Hall for the Coca-Cola Collectors Convention. People from across the state brought their Coke collectibles in for an Antiques-Roadshow-type event where Ted appraised each item. Coca-ColaThis Coca-Cola picnic cooler is from the late 1950s. Ted could date it from the fishtail logo. He appraised this piece at $300 – $500. Coca-ColaTed told us that the term soda pop came from when the bottles used a cork to seal them and you had to “pop” the cork down into the bottle to drink it. Fun little facts like this were scattered throughout the event which made it really interesting. These old Coke bottles appraised from $100 to $300 each. Coca-ColaThis is a Coca-Cola marketing bulletin from around 1928 that outlined prescriptive paint colors, standardization of the logo, etc. for people who would paint a billboard on the side of a building. Ted said that it’s so rare that he couldn’t appraise it. Coca-ColaThis is an advertising spinner. It would have been on top of a product display on an end-cap of a grocery store aisle or on top of a gas pump at the corner gas station. Ted appraised this item at $600 – $1000 since it was in such pristine condition.

“Coca-Cola: An American Original” continues through February 15. This exhibit celebrates the art and history of the Coca-Cola bottle on its 100th anniversary. The exhibition features a chronology of the Coca-Cola Bottle, pop art by by Andy Warhol, American classics by Norman Rockwell, Santa Clauses by Haddon Sundblom, and folk art by Howard Finster.

On Saturday, February 13, 2016, the Clinton Presidential Center is hosting Valentine’s Day Family Activities.

William J. Clinton Presidential Center
1200 President Clinton Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72201

Center Hours 
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Sunday: 1–5 p.m.

Learn more about the Clinton Presidential Center.