South Dakota senator George McGovern’s 1972 presidential bid was one of the most memorable campaigns in American political history. Despite a landslide loss to the incumbent Richard Nixon, McGovern’s campaign attracted widespread grassroots support, and his campaign posters represent a landmark in the history of U.S. campaign memorabilia in terms of the sheer number and quality of posters produced in support of the candidate.
Like Barack Obama’s run for the presidency in 2008, McGovern’s campaign stoked the imagination of the artistic community. World-famous artists - including Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder, Larry Rivers, Sam Francis, Thomas W. Benton, Sister Corita, and Paul Davis - produced posters in support of McGovern that captured a generation’s efforts to bring about major political change.
George McGovern and the Democratic Insurgents, with nearly three hundred stunning images, provides an illustrated journey through the protest and psychedelic rock posters of the 1960s, the posters of Eugene McCarthy’s 1968 presidential campaign, the poster explosion of George McGovern’s 1972 campaign, and the best campaign posters from 1976 to 2012. A historical examination of the graphic precedents for this politicised art form, Hal Elliott Wert’s collection offers readers a singular insight into artistic invention and activism in the United States.
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