During the course of my research on the history of the party election poster, I have recently identified some interesting connections between politics and the pipe.
I think that by looking at a single object – in this case the humble pipe – we can track the temporal shifts in the meaning of symbols. We can also come to some understanding about how posters reflect or inject meaning into the most mundane of objects.
What I am not sure about however is: where have all our pipe-smoking politicians gone and what do our leaders now use to symbolise their trustworthiness?
I have curated an exhibition of political posters for the People’s History Museum, which will be opened by Matthew Parris on 11th November – more of which in due course.