M-322: Dr. Allen B. and Helen S. Shopmaker American Political Collection

The Shopmaker Collection contains over three thousand items ranging from a George Washington token dated 1789 to buttons and textiles endorsing candidates in the 2008 election. The variety of objects reflects the changing tastes of the American public and the available production technologies, ranging from 19th century brass jewelry and clothing buttons embossed with candidate's names and party symbols to today's modern, mass-produced buttons, and from porcelain plates embellished with a portrait of First Lady Helen Taft to Nancy Reagan paper dolls. With artifacts representing nearly every American election, the Shopmaker Collection provides the viewer with a broad look at how candidates have used images, slogans and symbols to woo the public, and how the public has expressed its own, often outspoken, opinions on both individuals and issues.
St. Louis Mercantile Library Art Museum
First President U.S.A., George Washington Token
1-inch copper token with profile portrait of George Washington and "1789 1st President U.S.A., George Washington 1797" in low relief surrounding the portrait. Reverse of token is identical to the front.
Jackson Centennial Celebration Token
1 and 1/2-inch bronze token with low relief portrait of Andrew Jackson and featuring Captain Alex Laverty, Horace Blackman and Indian guide Pe-wy-tum shown standing in front of a landscape featuring the Grand River. Token commemorates the 100th anniversary of Jackson, Michigan and the birthplace of the Republican party. The reverse of the token has a profile portrait of Abraham Lincoln flanked by the American flag and the Michigan flag. Underneath the small portrait are the words "Jackson, Michigan. Here under the oaks July 6th 1854 was born the Republican Party destined in the throes of civil strife to abolish slavery, vindicate democracy and perpetuate the union" in low relief.
James Buchanan, President of the United States Token
1 and 1/14-inch gold-tone token with profile portrait of James Buchanan and the text "James Buchanan, President of the United States 1857" in low relief surrounding the portrait. On the reverse, the figures of a male settler and a Native American stand facing one another in front of an American flag with the words "Labor, Virtue, Honor" above the scene, all in low relief.
President and Mrs. Grover Cleveland Medal
1-inch round, bronze-tone medal with facing, low-relief jugate portraits of Grover Cleveland and his wife. The portraits are each framed by an oval of raised dots. An eagle is centered above the portraits and below is a shield with stripes resembling the American flag. On the reverse are the words "Souvenir of tour through West & South, President and Mrs. Cleveland Oct. 1887."
William J. Bryan Medal
1 and 2/8-inch gold-tone medal with relief portrait of William J. Bryan. Reverse of medal has a laurel wreath in low relief.
William McKinley Token
1 and 1/4-inch gold-tone token with low relief profile portrait of William McKinley and his named in low relief block letters above the portrait. On the reverse, a female figure in draped clothing with her head down holds a shield. Next to the figure the words "Inaugurated president of the United States, Mar 4, 1897, Second Term Mar 4, 1909, Assassinated Sep 6, 1901, Died Sep 14 1901" are in low relief block letters.

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