Although surpassed in popularity by social media, campaign posters continue to serve as a fundamental, democratic form of expression used by grass-roots organizers and artists to convey a message for social change.
"Decades of Dissent," a collection of 28 silk-screen protest posters from 1960 to 1980 on view at the Skirball Cultural Center, offers a historical perspective of one of the most volatile periods of California politics illustrated through this graphic art form. Topics featured in the posters include women's issues, gay rights, immigration reform, union empowerment and disillusionment with an unpopular war — issues that have hardly disappeared this election season.
The show, organized by the Center for the Study of Political Graphics in Los Angeles, is part of the larger "Democracy Now" initiative at Skirball, which includes "Creating the United States," an examination of our nation's founding documents: the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as well as the Emancipation Proclamation.
"We want people to be able to see these posters as part of a longer history of protest that began with the Founding Fathers and continues with issues that are relevant today," said curator Erin Curtis.