View thousands of buttons and other political artifacts at Idaho's Blaine County Historical Museum.
Treasures: January 2012
Check out a bronze bell from the USS Nevada, ancient bronzes from Asian grasslands, and relics of American politcal history at museums in Las Vegas, Nev., Helena, Mont., and Hailey, Idaho.
Lapel pins have always swung from serious to silly. The Truman camp’s plainspoken taunting of Dewey. A voter’s braying wager on a win for Willkie. Blunt opposition to FDR’s third run. At the Blaine County Historical Museum in Hailey, Idaho, 5,000 buttons and other political memorabilia document decades of U.S. voters’ election-year leanings in red, white, and blue. (208) 788-1801, bchistoricalmuseum.org.
She survived the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, and peacetime use as an atomic test target. But in 1948, at age 34, the battleship USS Nevada was deliberately sunk near Hawaii. Her bronze bell is among thousands of memorable items now displayed at the new Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas. (702) 486-5205, museums.nevadaculture.org.
A bloody battle rages between a tiger and a raptor on this 2,200-year-old northern Chinese buckle plaque, one of 85 remarkable works in the exhibit Ancient Bronzes of the Asian Grasslands. See it at the Holter Museum of Art in Helena, Mont., January 20 through April 8. (406) 442-6400, holtermuseum.org.
Photography courtesy of Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas (USS Nevada bell); courtesy Arthur M. Sackler Foundation (bronze buckle); by Kirsten Shultz (political buttons)
This article was first published in January 2012. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.