Presidential Pop Culture From 2008 Through 2020

Oct 1, 2020 - Jan 15, 2021
Guest Curator: Jane Caputi, Ph.D., Sika Dagbovie-Mullins, Ph.D., Robert Caputi, Ph.D.
Related Exhibitions: Paul Peter Piech: Activist Prints from the 1970s and ‘80s;
Why Shouldn’t We Talk About These Things at the Table?: A Community Based Conversation with South Florida Artists; “I’m Not Bad, I’m Just Drawn That Way” The American Woman in 100 Years of Ephemera
Media Packet


The 2020 election season is one of extreme partisanship, polarization, pandemic, protest, and pain -- emotional, physical, spiritual and economic. Though material pop culture is ephemeral, it merits our attention. The Smithsonian collects just such electoral “material culture” in order to document “the infinite richness and complexity of American history [and] help people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more humane future.” Presidential pop culture not only provides a mirror to the culture, but functions as one of the forces making and remaking America.


Images (clockwise from left): El Pendejo 45, sticker, 2020, 4 x 3 inches; Make America Whole Again, trucker cap, 2020, 5 x 9 x 11inches; I voted (Putin), aluminum pin, 2017, 6 x 6 inches.