Politics as Symbol/Symbol as Politics

Gallery Conversation Wall

Politics is at the vertex of substance and symbol, and there is no political spectacle to match an American presidential election. Each such contest produces thousands of images and scenes, almost every one planned and executed like a work of art, be it a poster, portrait, or performance. This exhibition includes works ranging from buttons to historic photographs to highly politicized prints to abstract art. They are not necessarily about presidents or presidential elections; rather, they explore the relationship between politics and art, emphasizing more the symbol than the substance.

This exhibition is curated by Burdett Loomis, professor of political science at the University of Kansas, and has been organized with the Andrew W. Mellon Department of Academic Programs at the Spencer Museum of Art.

Selected exhibition images