Trump is taking over one of the most popular websites in America on Election Day

Happy Super Tuesday, my dudes. The Democratic primary is in flux, and we’ll see where it stands after 14 states vote today. In this week’s issue, we’ll look at the Trump campaign’s YouTube homepage takeover plans for Election Day, plus:

  • The Smithsonian just made millions of images free to use

  • Hello, yes, Joe Biden’s son Hunter is an artist

  • JFK’s Georgetown mansion hits the market


P.S. Eight years after the word gif — short Graphics Interface Format — was named word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries, JIF peanut butter teamed up with gif search engine GIPHY to release a stunt peanut butter jar and weigh in on the pronunciation debate with the (correct) pronunciation: hard g sound, as in “gift” or “give.”

The Smithsonian just made millions of images free to use

From top left to bottom right: Photograph of Wich-Ha-Ka-Sa and A-Pat-We-Ma, a Ute couple, in 1899; custom painted Nike Air Force 1s with an image of Barack Obama by artist Van Taylor Monroe III in 2008; promotional disc for America Online, Inc., with an image of Britney Spears from 2001; Abraham Lincoln’s office suit; a vintage campaign ribbon.

The Smithsonian has removed copyright restrictions from about 2.8 million of its digital collection images and made them available on an online platform called Smithsonian Open Access.

The digital archive, announced by the Smithsonian last week, includes images of paintings, photographs, sculptures, postcards, postage stamps, campaign buttons and paraphernalia, and other items from all 19 Smithsonian museums.

And much as I prefer to see the real thing in person instead of online, the best part of the database is it includes items that aren’t currently on display, like Lincolns’ office suit and a 2001 AOL disc with a picture of the legendary Miss Britney Spears on it.

From left to right: contact sheet of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy from 1961; portrait of Harriet Tubman in 1868 or 1869; a voter registration button from the 1970s.

The Smithsonian Open Access gallery page has links to collections by topic, culture, historic event, or museum. And if you like seeing vintage campaign design as much as I do, you’ll love their 96-page “Political History” gallery.

Trump is taking over one of the most popular websites in America on Election Day

A Trump campaign YouTube ad in 2019, via NPR

The YouTube homepage will be decked out in Trump come Election Day. The campaign purchased ad space on YouTube’s “masthead,” or the video ad spot on top of its homepage, for early November, according to Bloomberg. We don’t know how long the ads will run or how much the campaign paid, but the space is estimated to cost anywhere from hundreds of thousands of dollars to more than $1 million a day.

The campaign also bought YouTube masthead space last year for the day of a Democratic debate, and they’re following in the footsteps of their predecessor. The Obama campaign ran ads on YouTube’s homepage on Election Day 2012 that resulted in more than 400,000 polling place lookups, Google said in a blog post the following year.

A 2019 Pew survey found 73% of U.S. adults say they use YouTube, more than any other social network or online platform.

The Trump campaign is opening campaign stores in predominantly black neighborhoods

The Trump campaign’s $35 “Woke” hat

Dubbed “community centers,” the Trump campaign plans to open 15 of them in retail spaces in predominantly black neighborhoods, according to the New York Times. The spaces will sell merchandise and register voters, and a mock-up storefront in the campaign’s Arlington, Va., headquarters toured by the Times included hoodies that said “woke” and screens that played testimonials from black voters about why they support Trump. The campaign also said it’s considering Latinos for Trump storefronts.

The centers are slated to open in swing states, with locations in Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, and Miami, Fla.; Atlanta, Ga.; Detroit, Mich.; Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pa.; Charlotte, Raleigh and Greensboro, N.C.; and Milwaukee, Wis.

A Washington Post-Ipsos poll released in January found 90% of black Americans disapprove of Trump’s job performance and 83% say he is racist.

Hello, yes, Joe Biden’s son Hunter is an artist

Credit: Elizabeth Weinberg for the New York Times

“For years I wouldn’t call myself an artist,” the former vice president’s son Hunter told the New York Times. “Now I feel comfortable saying it.”

Biden works in a rented pool house in the Hollywood Hills that he’s turned into a studio. He said art “is literally keeping me sane” and is “something I’ve taken seriously for a long time but hasn’t necessarily been for public consumption.”

Biden began looking for gallery representation late last year. His paintings, which can resemble flowers or microscopic organisms, are made on Japanese Yupo paper with up to 14 layers of alcohol ink blown through a metal straw.

“It’s very abstract, sometimes very dark,” Biden’s wife Melissa Cohen said of his work. “It draws a lot from nature.”

Pop star primary update

With Calif. voting today, you know there’s going to be a few pop stars shouting out their favored candidates. Here’s the latest:

  • Janelle Monáe tweeted “Elizabeth Warren .”

  • Ariana Grande reposted a video from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on her Instagram Story

  • Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum asked friends to vote for Sanders

  • Public Enemy Radio performed at a Sanders concert-rally

Not sure if we’ll hear today from Beyoncé and Taylor Swift, who are both from Super Tuesday states (Texas and Tenn., respectively), but I plan to refresh their accounts all day to see.

JFK’s Georgetown mansion hits the market

Credit: Sotheby’s International Realty

A home in Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood that John F. Kennedy once shared with his sister Eunice is now on the market for $4,675,000, per Washingtonian.

Kennedy lived in the home from 1949 to 1951 while he was a member of the U.S. House. The 4,659-square foot home was built around 1800, and has three bedrooms, two full bathrooms, and two half bathrooms.

My favorite part is the rooftop terrace with a view of the Washington Monument.

The artist who vandalized the banana booth has been cleared of criminal charges

February 28, 2020

Rob Webber, the artist who wrote “EPSTIEN [sic] DIDNT KILL HIMSELF” on the Art Basel wall where Maurizio Cattelan’s banana artwork “Comedian” had been duct taped to before another performance artist ate it, faced criminal mischief charges from the state of Florida over his vandalism. Last Wednesday, though, state prosecutors dropped the case because the listed victim, Art Basel, did not want to cooperate, according to the Miami Herald.

“I think this is a big victory for art,” Webber said. “They can’t decide what art is.”

In other banana art news, artist Shane Grammer installed the above banana sculpture in Sacramento.

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