The year of a presidential campaign is an exciting time for Gary Matthews. Not because he is especially active in politics, but because he can easily find many additions to his collection of memorabilia. He actually claims to like all the political parties during elections.
Rose Center Council for the Arts will host a large selection of Matthews’ collection during November in the Edith Davis Gallery on the main floor of the center.
The Rose Service Guild will host an opening reception on Thursday, Nov. 1, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Matthews began collecting presidential campaign memorabilia when he was in college. He attended a large flea market in Nashville with his girlfriend, now his wife Lisa, and her parents. While there, he spotted an LBJ campaign button that really appealed to him. He purchased that button for 50 cents and the collecting bug began.
The collection now contains hundreds of items. Matthews has found items as early as an 1896 McKinley button and was able to add many 2012 items to his collection this year.
A love of local and American history is a big part of why Matthews enjoys campaign memorabilia. He enjoys learning about the way people campaigned, the different slogans used and all the related political trivia.
Matthews collects all different types of campaign items including posters, buttons, bumper stickers and much more. His favorite pieces from his collection are those that were given to him by family and friends.
His collection is always growing. He would love to have at least one item from each serious presidential candidate. He’s always looking for unique items; he recently found a Teddy Roosevelt campaign handkerchief.
The exhibit will remain on display through Nov. 30. Rose Center is located at 442 W. Second North St. in Morristown. For more information, call 423-581-4330.