Bridgehampton Museum Displays Presidential Campaign Memorabilia From Washington To Trump - 27 East

Arts & Living

Arts & Living / 1335589

Bridgehampton Museum Displays Presidential Campaign Memorabilia From Washington To Trump

icon 25 Photos
Students at Hampton Bays Middle School during the filming.  DANA SHAW

Students at Hampton Bays Middle School during the filming. DANA SHAW

Larry O'Toole in his shop in Hampton Bays.  DANA SHAW

Larry O'Toole in his shop in Hampton Bays. DANA SHAW

Larry O'Toole in his shop in Hampton Bays.  DANA SHAW

Larry O'Toole in his shop in Hampton Bays. DANA SHAW

The Artworks and Designs pup-centric mudroom.

The Artworks and Designs pup-centric mudroom.

Aiden's sister Shannon,8, holds a sign in support of her brother.  DANA SHAW

Aiden's sister Shannon,8, holds a sign in support of her brother. DANA SHAW

Absentee ballots are counted at Tuckahoe School on Tuesday night.  DANA SHAW

Absentee ballots are counted at Tuckahoe School on Tuesday night. DANA SHAW

A crew from Southampton Town works to unearth the time capsule.  DANA SHAW

A crew from Southampton Town works to unearth the time capsule. DANA SHAW

A cloth vest and paper hat worn by an usher at the Democratic Convention in 1960.  DANA SHAW

A cloth vest and paper hat worn by an usher at the Democratic Convention in 1960. DANA SHAW

Political buttons.  DANA SHAW

Political buttons. DANA SHAW

Sir Ivan's castle in Water Mill.  DANA SHAW

Sir Ivan's castle in Water Mill. DANA SHAW

A Gerald Ford poster.  DANA SHAW

A Gerald Ford poster. DANA SHAW

Bridgehampton Museum, in collaboration with The Museum of Democracy, will open the exhibition “Path to Presidency” to the public on June 2.   DANA SHAW

Bridgehampton Museum, in collaboration with The Museum of Democracy, will open the exhibition “Path to Presidency” to the public on June 2. DANA SHAW

A Theodore Roosevelt and Charles Fairbanks poster.  DANA SHAW

A Theodore Roosevelt and Charles Fairbanks poster. DANA SHAW

author on May 30, 2017

An overview of memorabilia used in presidential campaigns spanning from George Washington to Donald Trump will go on view Friday, June 2, as the Bridgehampton Museum, in collaboration with the Museum of Democracy, opens the exhibition “Path to Presidency.”

Amassed over the course of more than four decades, the entire collection features more than 1 million items, but the exhibition will feature just a fraction of the archive.

The impressive archive was started by Jordan M. Wright, who began collecting buttons in support of presidential nominee Robert F. Kennedy in 1968 as a 10-year-old. As his fascination with campaign items and important issues of the day grew, so did his collection. Eventually, Mr. Wright was collecting flags, hats and soap bars.

The Bridgehampton Museum’s Corwith House seemed an appropriate venue for the display, since Bridgehampton played a crucial role in the nation’s political history. More than 200 years ago, the Triangular Commons was the center of Bridgehampton and the site of meeting places for Long Island Republicans, especially when John Adams was up for reelection. Republicans like Aaron Burr, who would later go on to become the country’s third vice president under Thomas Jefferson, attended a rally in Bridgehampton to protest Adams’s policies.

The exhibition will be shown in chronological order, said Julie Greene, the head archivist at the museum. The showing will begin in a room featuring buttons from George Washington’s 1789 candidacy, and will end with more recent objects such as the red “Make America Great Again” hat used by Donald Trump in his 2016 campaign.

“It tells the history of the country,” Ms. Greene said. “You can see that evolution: how the country went, how people went, how societal norms changed.”

Pamala Wright, a cofounder of the Museum of Democracy and wife of the late Mr. Wright, said that the collection details how modesty and morality have changed course in American society and politics. “Where it started was so dignified,” Ms. Wright said, referring to the buttons men wore on their suits in support of a particular candidate. “To this, this is where we are now,” she said, gesturing toward condoms made with presidential candidates on the wrapper.

However, the exhibition also highlights the similarities between the past and present use of campaign memorabilia as a vehicle of candidate promotion. For example, a red leather hat with the name Monroe on it was worn by firefighters who needed funding and supported candidate James Monroe. This was paralleled in recent elections, when blocks of unionized teachers widely supported Barack Obama because of his support for the teachers’ union.

The Museum of Democracy does not yet have a permanent building where visitors can view the collection. Instead, the Wright family collection travels. It has previously been seen in the George W. Bush Presidential Center as well as the New York Historical Society, and The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

“The Path to the Presidency” will be on display at the Bridgehampton Museum’s Corwith House at 2368 Montauk Highway, Bridgehampton, until December. An opening reception will be held Friday, June 2, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

You May Also Like:

Guild Hall’s Student Art Festival Has A Theme, ‘Made By Water’

Entering its 28th year, the Guild Hall Student Art Festival (SAF) is a tradition that ... 22 Jan 2020 by Staff Writer

They’re Creepy And They’re Kooky

The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center Arts Academy announces its student performance of the musical ... by Staff Writer

‘Solar Impressions’ Heads West

The art exhibition “Solar Impressions” that was at the Southampton Arts Center this past fall ... 21 Jan 2020 by Staff Writer

Yaron Zilberman’s Film ‘Incitement’ Examines The Role Of Extremism In The Assassination Of A World Leader

On November 4, 1995, Yagil Amir, a devoted Orthodox Jew and a law student at ... by Annette Hinkle

More Music With The Masons

Singer-songwriter Kaehla Maurer will perform on Saturday, January 25, at 8 p.m. at the Wamponamon ... by Staff Writer

Artists Talk About Inspiration At The Parrish

On Friday, January 24, at 6 p.m., the Parrish Art Museum will present the fourth ... 18 Jan 2020 by Staff Writer

Playwrighting With Bill Burford

Producer/director Bill Burford has produced and directed new plays, classics, musicals, reviews concerts and dance ... 15 Jan 2020 by Staff Writer

Hampton Theatre Company Takes On The College Application Debate in Joshua Harmon’s ‘Admissions’

When Operation Varsity Blues brought down dozens of the wealthy elite in early 2019 — ... 14 Jan 2020 by Michelle Trauring

Wanna Live In The Hamptons? Here’s How

Are you thinking of moving to The Hamptons part- or full-time and do you have ... 13 Jan 2020 by Staff Writer

Free Screening Of The Film ‘Just Mercy’

Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, the new film ”Just Mercy” is based on the memoir ... by Staff Writer
logo

Welcome to our new website!

To see what’s new, click “Start the Tour” to take a tour.

We welcome your feedback. Please click the
“contact/advertise” link in the menu bar to email us.

Start the Tour
Landscape view not supported