State Historical Society examines political symbolism

COLUMBIA–On Election Day 2012, The State Historical Society of Missouri’s exhibit, “Elephants and Donkeys: Animal Symbolism in Political Cartoons,” seems particularly relevant.

“She [Dr. Stack, curator] really does try to connect…with what’s going on in the larger world,” Chief Museum Preparator Greig Thompson said.

The exhibit, located in the corridor gallery of the SHS office in Ellis Library, features political cartoons over the decades that use animal symbols to convey their messages.

“It’s a very easy to understand record of the history of the two political parties,” Thompson said.

Candace Korasick, professor of global ethics and a sociology class titled “Animals and their Humans” at Stephens College, was previewing the exhibit before bringing her class on Thursday, November 8.

“I want to show them how representations of animals affect opinions,” Korasick said. 


Candace Korasick walks the SHS gallery of political cartoons at the University of Missouri on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. She plans to bring a sociology class to view the exhibit to understand how animal representations, such as those of the elephant and donkey in politics, can affect opinion.


The SHS exhibit at the University of Missouri also features a station where visitors can try their own hand at creating political cartoons.


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