On this May trip, we took shelter from a spring rain in the New York Historical Society. A fantastic collection of items large and small from New York’s history. A history rich with war, high society, ethnic diversity, food, and political strife. Some of the more tame political relics are from a time of more civilized democratic discourse, or so we may believe. Campaign buttons, pins and ribbons showcase these political defining points. At the intersection of design and politics we are reminded of the era of the slogan. The word slogan deriving from the Scottish Gaelic word meaning “battle cry”.
These relics shout at us:
“All I have left is a Vote for Wilkie”
“Here’s your hat Frank, what’s your hurry?”
“Lincoln didn’t. Washington wouldn’t. Roosevelt shouldn’t”
Politics then was not battled online, via Facebook or on cable TV. Rather, it was disputed on the streets, in bars, town halls and community meeting spaces. While those who engaged in politics may have been just as passionate as followers now, they did not have the luxury of burrowing in their narrow views. They wore their buttons proudly and engaged in lively community discussions where they literally came face to face with alternative ideas and were forced to verbally defend their positions. These artifacts of that era tell part of this story.
My back east trip included many other adventures. Sunshine breaking through on a spring day in Bryant Park; what could be more brilliant? All the photos from this trip, and my jaunt to New Haven & Providence here.