In retrospect, why was Richard Milhouse Nixon electable? Kennedy drank his milkshake in the 1960 election, and his hangdog expression and dour nastiness didn't improve with time. The answer is obvious: Nixon looked fantastic as a cartoon character. His campaign team capitalized on this with a matched set of erasers in the likeness of Nixon and his running mate, the immortal (and immoral) Spiro T. Agnew. The irony of a Nixon eraser — removes any mistake up to seventeen minutes in length! — is delicious, and the caricature is fantastic. Who wouldn't vote for this eraser? Persuasive Politics: Presidential Campaign Memorabilia, a selection of remarkable and strange items from the collection of Cecelia and U.I. "Chick" Harris, opens with a free public reception at 5:30 p.m. Friday, September 5, at the Saint Louis University Museum of Art (3663 Lindell Boulevard; 314-977-2666 or sluma.slu.edu). The exhibition features objects as familiar as lapel pins and as bizarre as an "I Like Ike" cigarette pack (too bad Obama quite smoking, eh?), as well as the little erasers. Persuasive Politics remains on display through Sunday, December 21; the museum is open Wednesday through Sunday.
Wednesdays-Sundays. Starts: Sept. 5. Continues through Dec. 21, 2008