Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas
detail: Ida y Vuelta (Going and Returning) by Juan Genovese

Politics as Symbol/Symbol as Politics

July 17 - January 27, 2013 | 20/21 Gallery Conversation Wall

Politics is simultaneously about substance and symbol. If art is in part spectacle, 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 exhibit includes works ranging from buttons to historic photographs to highly politicized prints to abstract art. They are mostly not about presidents or presidential elections; rather, they explore the relationship between politics and image, emphasizing more the symbol than the substance. But perhaps that captures one essence of politics in general, and U.S. politics in particular.

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.

Public Programs

in Oct
Activities: SMA Art Cart: Vote for Me!
Saturdays: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM / Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 405
Sundays: 12:00 – 4:00 PM / Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 405
The Spencer Art Cart is a fun, fresh, and free drop-in art program available during gallery hours every Saturday and Sunday. Designed for children and families but open to everyone, the Art Cart changes monthly, each time highlighting a different gallery and featuring a new, self-guided art activity. You’ll learn about selected works from the SMA collection, and then create your own art based on that experience. Spend as little or as much time on your project as you like. Saturdays: 10 AM – 4 PM & Sundays: 12– 4 PM For October: Vote for Me! Learn about political symbols in art and create campaign buttons.