Boats, Barnes, and Bootlegging: Long Island's colorful prohibition legacy


  Boats, Barns, and Bootlegging is a must-see, dense, and deeply fascinating display that tells the story of Long Island during America’s “dry” years, when it was illegal to produce, transport, or sell alcoholic beverages in the country. But the coves and crannies of Long Island’s shores and its proximity to New York City made it a hotbed of illicit importing from Canada, the Caribbean, and Europe.

There is wonderful material here, including buttons, flags, posters, clothing, an Art Deco-era liquor cabinet, and photographs. The items are jointly from the Wright family collection and the Bridgehampton Museum’s archives.

Path to the Presidency: George Washington to Donald Trump

Bridgehampton museum, corwith house

Having witnessed the most shocking election of a lifetime, the 2016 Presidential campaign arguably proved to be most shocking and unexpected campaign, ever in America. However, mudslinging and provocative slogans were always a part of the political landscape. This exhibition examines the history and power of visual advertising in key political campaigns of American leaders from George Washington to Donald Trump.

Featuring unique campaign textiles such as, ceramics, flags, posters, parade lanterns, torches, games, stickers (to merely scratch the surface) provide tangible insight into how and why our leaders became our leaders. The exhibition underlines the historically powerful role of mass-market campaign advertising in American elections.

Shaking Hands and Kissing Babies: The Road to the White House

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

On display through January 9, 2017, from the Museum of Democracy, The Wright Family Collection. The exhibition examines the history and power of visual advertising in political campaigns of American leaders from George Washington to Barack Obama. Featuring more than 40 campaign items such as buttons, flags, posters, and novelty items, the exhibition underlines the powerful role of mass-market campaign advertising in American elections. This diverse collection of objects reminds us that election messaging, mudslinging, and catchy slogans are as American as apple pie.  Sponsored by Randy and Valorie Lawson/Lawco Energy Group.

Campaigning for the Presidency

New york historical society

Coinciding with the 2016 presidential election, the New-York Historical Society will explore campaign memorabilia and the ephemera of American politics through the shifting styles, rhetoric, and aesthetics of four presidential elections and other political contests in the 1960s and early 1970s. On view August 26 – November 27, 2016, Campaigning for the Presidency, 1960-1972: Selections from the Museum of Democracy will showcase more than 120 objects from the planned Museum of Democracy, considered one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive collections of political campaign memorabilia. 

“With this year’s presidential election reaching a crescendo, we aim to remind New Yorkers what elections looked like before 24/7 news coverage and social media,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, President and CEO of the NYHS. “As New York Mayor Ed Koch said, campaign memorabilia is ‘the sparkle and glitter of which our campaigns are made’ and that certainly comes through in this exhibit, which illustrates the integral role that ephemera had in American politics. We are pleased to share the Wright Family Collection with our visitors and give a taste of what’s to come in the planned Museum of Democracy.”

Path to the Presidency


Path to the Presidency, gives visitors an interactive look at the history of presidential campaigns, including key races that have defined America, the changing face of the American electorate, and a fun-glimpse at life on the campaign trail. Selected objects on loan from The Wright Family Collection of American Presidential Memorabilia are featured.

The Path to the Presidency exhibition includes artifacts and elements representing many presidential campaigns in U.S. history. Highlights include campaign medals and buttons dating back to the 1800s and a “living room” theater, airing iconic campaign advertisements and debate moments in a 1960s-style set-up. A number of important pieces of The Wright Family Collection of American political memorabilia are featured. The Wright Family Collection is the subject of the book Campaigning for President - Political Memorabilia from the Nation's Finest Private Collection by Jordan M. Wright. 

Campaigning for President: New York and the American Election


Throughout the history of the United States, the power brokers and voters of New York have played important roles in determining the outcome of presidential elections. As a business, media and political hub, New York City has exercised influence that far surpasses the power of its electoral votes. At the same time, the city's large population has contributed both to New York State's position as the largest electoral prize from 1812 until 1972, and to the large number of New York residents who made runs for the nation's highest office. This exhibition explored the ways in which national candidates appealed to New York voters over time, the unique role New York has played in presidential elections, and the scores of New Yorkers who have thrown their hats into the ring. The campaign memorabilia featured in the exhibit reveals the participaroty nature of American democracy, even as it amuses, scandalizes, entertains and provokes.


Exhibitions & Events


Campaigning for the Presidency

AUGUST 26- NOVEMBER 27, 2016



The Path to the Presidency 

MARCH 1, 2016 - OCTOBER 9, 2016



Shaking Hands and Kissing Babies The Road to the White House

SEPTEMBER 16, 2016 - JANUARY 9, 2017




Path to the Presidency 

jUNE 3, - DECEMBER 31, 2017