Poster art featuring buttons from the historical events, causes, and demonstrations that shaped America.
Hello. My name is Al Feldstein. Since the mid-1960s, I have been a collector of buttons, primarily "cause" buttons. Over the past few years I have begun to share my collection of buttons at various exhibitions and lectures. The interest and response to the history portrayed in these small, shiny, colorful, metal objects has been incredible. It also confirmed my long-held belief that these buttons were indeed a truly overlooked medium, and had a message to convey to people not just from my generation, but also to many young people today. With these thoughts in mind I have recently developed a beautiful, 36x24 inch (a standard frame size), full-color poster entitled:
Buttons of the Cause
Quite simply, I have selected over 370 buttons from my collection to portray an "historical overview of contemporary political and social protest and public policy debate via the visual and colorful medium of buttons."
These include such issues and movements as Civil Rights, Vietnam, the Womens Movement, the Environment, Animal Rights, Workers Rights, Africa, Ireland, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Globalization, Nuclear Disarmament, the American Indian Movement, and Gay and Lesbian Rights. The buttons are reproduced at full-scale and in a montage format. In other words they are spread out and are "overlaid" on each other.
The buttons generally cover a time-period from the August 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington with Martin Luther King, Jr., to the marches being held this winter against the war with Iraq, as well as the demonstrations against the World Bank. When possible I attempted to present both "sides." By this I mean, and using Vietnam as the prime example, I have clearly depicted an "Im Not Fonda Jane" and "Tell It to Hanoi" button along with the multitude of anti-war examples.
The poster is not meant to be an ideological or political statement as such of one side or the other. To be honest, I do have "issues" with a few of the causes, and in particular, one or two of the personalities which I have depicted. Rather, I see this poster as an educational item. AFTER FORTY YEARS, much of this is now falling within an historical context. At the same time, all of these events, personalities, and issues are STILL FRONT PAGE NEWS and a part of our daily popular culture; from the panel discussions, author interviews, and book reviews on C-SPAN, to the movies, books, and television shows being produced each year, to the newspaper headlines and features which are in our face each morning, to the actual issues, people, and causes which have evolved and impact us today. At the same time, this poster presents a strong sense of nostalgia and memory, bittersweet perhaps, for those generations that experienced this era (I'm 56 years old).
The buttons themselves are depicted at the top and cover most of the poster. I have included a narrative portion that spans the bottom and leads off with the 1968 quote from Eldridge Cleaver, "If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem." The narrative includes what I think is a key and rather unique and interesting written historical component that complements the buttons. I have simply listed over 260 events, milestones, personalities, and organizations identified either with the buttons or the issues. The dates of the marches and demonstrations, as well as bill signings, and when the various organizations were formed or founded, when able to determine, are also included (not to pick on Jane Fonda, but using her once again for illustrative purposes, her button is explained by simply referencing her trip to North Vietnam in July 1972). I think this narrative will not only evoke a lot of memories and even research, but also serve as a reference for all those folks who have these buttons stuck away in their drawers or attics. There is really a lot of history, dates, and other factual information here. I would have liked to have gone into even more written detail, but that would have taken room away from the button depictions.
In closing, I think this is an interesting item. I might be wrong, but I have not been able to locate a similar product within this medium presenting this panoply of subject matter and information in such a colorful format. I think it can be used as a teaching tool within the classroom or campus, or just something that many folks would want to hang on the wall or just simply have. I tried to develop it as an item portraying a facet of our American political history and public policy debates and issues in a really...I guess, neat way.
For informational purposes, the size of the horizontal format poster is 36x24 inches, which is a standard frame size. It is printed on a 80 lb. stock with an Aqueous finish and in a High Resolution 4-color process. Although I am working to have the poster available through several outlets, it can be obtained online exclusively through this website.
For one poster, the cost is $5.00, plus $4.95 for handling (rolled/shipped in a mailing tube) and postage. Additional posters have a shipping and handling fee of $.50 each up to ten posters.
Posters will be shipped through the U.S. Postal Service. Please allow 1-2 weeks for delivery.
If you prefer to pay by mail, please complete the order form and follow the instructions.
Causes: Civil Rights | Women's Movement |
Causes: Civil Rights | Women's Movement |