History of Photography class and buttons at the Art Academy of Cincinnati

Professor Barbara Jenkins from the Art Academy of Cincinnati writes to Busy Beaver Button Co. about her project, “The buttons are to give to the students in my class. I’m teaching undergraduate History of Photography at the a Art Academy of Cincinnati. When we were studying daguerreotypes, we looked at this image/object online.

It’s thought to be the first political button, and it is for the abolition of slavery.

It depicts a black hand and a white hand together on a Bible. (You can just barely tell that their hands are on a book.) The gold frame is the housing of the daguerreotype. The original button is just 5/8” diameter. The author is unknown.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York owns it now. It was donated to the museum after someone found it at a flea market in New England.

The students were impressed by it; they like seeing how old things still have presence, and I wanted to give them something in December as a remembrance of the class. And now it will be a button again!”

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Student Amber with her daguerreotype button