The Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign Commercials, 1952–2020
Acclaimed as “addictive” (The New York Times) and “the finest collection of presidential campaign ads ever assembled” (Wall Street Journal), Museum of the Moving Image’s historical web archive The Living Room Candidate has served as an important, free resource for journalists, scholars, teachers, and students nationwide since it was first published online in 2000. The site presents more than 400 commercials from every presidential race since the inception of television campaign advertising in 1952. The 2020 edition has been reformatted with an updated video player, and new ads from the election cycle of Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden.
On October 15, we presented an online discussion with political campaign scholars, moderated by Kathryn Cramer Brownell, Consulting Curator for the site’s 2020 campaign content. In conjunction with the 2020 relaunch, Reverse Shot published a new essay by Brownell on the history and power of TV campaign advertising.
The Living Room Candidate was first presented at Museum of the Moving Image in 1992, and launched as an online exhibition in 2000, both curated by MoMI’s former Chief Curator David Schwartz. Kathryn Cramer Brownell is the Consulting Curator for the site’s 2020 content.
The 2020 edition of The Living Room Candidate has been made possible in part by The National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.