Kentucky Museum to present 'Political Bandwagon'
- Author: Tiffany Isselhardt
- Author: Wednesday, March 20th, 2019
The Kentucky Museum is seeking sponsors for this exhibition. To donate, please click here or call Fundraising Coordinator Tiffany Isselhardt at 270-745-3369.
Before there were TV ads and Twitter threads, political campaigns were waged with posters, buttons, and bumper stickers — and even thimbles, tie tacks, and horseshoes.
Collected by Julius Rather and Bob Westerman, more than 10,000 of these campaign artifacts are held by the Kentucky Museum and Department of Library Special Collections as part of the Rather-Westerman Political Collection. The artifacts provide insights into candidates who ran for office in Kentucky, Kentuckians who ran for national office, and how campaigning was conducted in Kentucky from 1830 to the present.
As the 2020 Presidential Election approaches, the Kentucky Museum will present this collection as part of a new exhibition: Political Bandwagon. The exhibition aims to educate visitors on how candidates market themselves and their ideologies, while exploring the importance of critical thinking and democratic debate during the electoral process.
Premiering in April 2020, Political Bandwagon will showcase how campaigning in Kentucky has evolved over time, how democracy in the United States has expanded to include non-white-male audiences, and how Kentuckians’ engagement in the electoral process is vital to our democracy. Accompanying the exhibition will be mock campaigns to foster practice in the voting process, as well as rotating displays that explore the role of political dissent and protest in democracy, including the Vietnam War protests, Women’s March, Gay Liberation, Black Lives Matter, and the Labor Movement.
“We are very excited to have the opportunity to showcase one of our premiere museum collections while encouraging participation in the democratic process,” stated Kentucky Museum Director Brent Bjorkman. “The Rather-Westerman Political Memorabilia Collection should be utilized by all Kentuckians in discovering and engaging with their local and national history. Yet to make this happen, we need public support. Political Bandwagon is a major exhibition, which requires significant investment in collections, technology, and gallery preparations. We hope to provide opportunities for students to help digitize the collection and create engaging public programs to explore Kentucky’s rich political legacies. These are primarily funded by individual donors, and we look forward to having our community come together to make this exhibition a reality.”
How can I support this important exhibition?
Donate online here: http://alumni.wku.edu/kymexhibits (and write “Political Bandwagon” in the additional information field)
Call Tiffany Isselhardt, Fundraising Coordinator, at 270-745-3369.
Museum Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: 1444 Kentucky Street, Bowling Green, KY
Admission: Free for general public; Groups of 10+ are $5 per person
More Information: https://www.wku.edu/kentuckymuseum/exhibits/political_bandwagon.php
About Kentucky Museum
Now in our 80th year, the Kentucky Museum celebrates all aspects of South-Central Kentucky’s art, history, and culture. “Kentuckians need to know Kentucky” was the museum’s earliest conceptual framework, which took shape in the eyes of WKU’s founding president Henry Hardin Cherry. Today, we are a steadfast educational campus partner helping to inspire innovation, elevate community, and transform the lives of our students and the community.
About the Department of Library Special Collections
The Department of Library Special Collections began in the late 1920s with the campaign to construct a "Kentucky Building" on WKU's campus. Dedicated on November 16, 1939, this Georgian Revival structure serves primarily as a repository for books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, audio, video, and other material documenting the history, politics, culture, literature, daily life and folkways of the Commonwealth. Today, the Department of Library Special Collections acquires and preserves materials primarily related to Kentucky and Kentuckians, with the objective of making them available to researchers interested in the state, its people and their relationship to the world. Their collections continue to grow, both in volume and stature, to cover not just Kentucky but the world.