Political art from the new Walmart-family-funded Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR. (It’s worth a trip!)
Apparently the 1840 Presidential campaign was the first to create a mass market for political souvenirs like these brass campaign buttons. Opportunistic businessmen were quick to cash in on the campaign’s popularity - especially among women, for whom the pink Harrison teapot was made, even though they could not cast a vote.
And art inspired by the 1896 Presidential campaign reminds us that much of our political debate is nothing new: candidate William Jennings Bryan stated his opposition to Republican William McKinley’s support of the gold standard in religious terms, “You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.”