Art Works: How Art and History Can Interact

Sarah Trafford a Temple University graphic design student created the above work. This piece of artwork tells a simple history about a well known and beloved figure in American history. At the bottom of this piece Trafford states that, “Roosevelt was an avid stamp collector.” But hidden within is a much more complex history. Some of the recognizable symbols include the White House, a paratrooper drop, and the “V” for victory. This piece of artwork works for many audiences. It captures the viewers attention invites them to learn more about Roosevelt and if his legacy about World War II and his presidency is not taught then the audience will at least learn about Roosevelt’s love of stamps. This juxtaposition of innocent stamp collecting and the violence of war reminds me of Fred Wilson’s, Mining the Museum. In his exhibit he juxtaposed many objects that are not normally found together such as a Ku Klux Klan hood with a baby carriage. Another series of artwork near Trafford’s piece creates a similar and eerie possibility for juxtaposition. The piece that was neighboring showed fictional objects that Donald Trump and Vladmir Putin shared together. Some examples include a locket, love letters, and a condom with the words, “I’m Huge,” written on it. Roosevelt and his treasured status seems to rest above Trump but it must not be forgotten that even when Roosevelt was leading the nation he had his fair share of controversy. Maybe Trump will be remembered in a similar light as Roosevelt one day…

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